Saturday, July 18, 2009

Video Tells the Story

For those who have been trapped in a cave: pop singer Michael Jackson passed away and there has been a media frenzy for the last three weeks. There’s a lot of communicating going on right now so I can’t help but analyze its effectiveness.

While I agree that, in general, the media coverage has been excessive and repetitive, there are nuggets of real information buried in the hype. One of those bits surfaced this week in the form of video footage showing Jackson sustaining third-degree burns to his scalp during the filming of a Pepsi commercial.

There was footage released to the public in at the time but it was shot from the front and the severity of Jackson’s injury could not be seen. I did not understand what all the fuss was about in 1984; as of now, I do. Because of one bit of film, I saw that Jackson was badly burned. Many medical experts have explained, in connection with other stories, that burned skin remains extremely painful forever. The injury does not excuse Jackson's apparent drug abuse but it explains it - in part.

The media had some facts about the Jackson case wrong from the start and probably still do. I guess I can’t fault that too much. A number of newspapers reported there were no casualties on the Titanic. Fact verification is not a new problem. This video is a good example of what happens when the media does its right – finding new information that provided perspective the audience did not have before.

I hope, as the Jackson story progresses, that the reporters and journalists will stop speculating and ferret out real information instead. I’m sure there’s plenty to be had.

I'll follow a story but only when it’s worth my time. Much of what has been communicated lately about Jackson's death hasn’t been. A rare exception was the video clip.

No comments: