Two hours ago the world was told by Twitter that Michael Jackson had died. Informed by the re-tweeting of a report from one LA based website. I guess many people reacted by going straight to the BBC or CNN to see if it was true. I did. And those sources were more much more circumspect (although Sky News was not) 'MJ in a coma'. 'MJ reported to have died'. This is what reliable news sources are for.
Isn't this why in a world of billions of messages the trusted news brand becomes ever more important, not less?
If a brand is a promise, the great news titles of the future have a most extraordinary opportunity. Gather and verify. Then comment.
And, yes, Jackson was a great artist.
additional: guardiannews Web grinds to a halt after Michael Jackson dies http://bit.ly/31F2yG
additional: with the loss of Farrah Fawcett Majors earlier in the day, rumour began of the death of Jeff Goldblum in a movie accident. An attempt to build a loss of youth meme methinks. But stubborn Jeff is OK, below:
additional: the point on verification: from Kevin Spacey's verified twitter account at 0014 GMT, *Jeff Goldblum is alive and well. I just spoke to his manager. Stop these stupid rumors.*
(this completely negates my point as the definitive facts came from a individual source using microblogging and cutting out any middleman except Twitter!)
additional: the death of one of the first truly global performers, an icon known by all humanity, will have communication outcomes that are yet unforeseen. So I won't try to see them.
Friday lunch GMT: Video from Charles Arthur at the Guardian and on YouTube, but worth reading CA with it http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2009/jun/26/michael-jackson-twitter-trends-video shows Twitscoop responding (do you record it all Charles?!)