Of New Media and Jacko's Death

The Los Angeles Times has an interesting piece today on celebrity gossip web site TMZ's blockbuster scoop yesterday on Michael Jackson's untimely demise (moment of silence, here, at the Phoenix) and the mainstream media's hesitation around crediting TMZ for breaking the news. Here's Harvey Levin, managing editor of the site:

"That's typical," Levin said during a phone interview when asked about rivals' hesitation to credit the site. "No matter what they say, people know we broke the story. That's how competitors handle it. There's no issue about our credibility.

"Today I made 100 phone calls, and everyone else made 100 calls," Levin said of his staff. "Everyone blanketed the city. . . . We were getting calls from everyone under the sun, established news operations, asking, 'Are you sure?' That's such an odd question. We would not have published it if it were not true."

Fascinating study on the growing heft of the blogosphere - and our ambivalence about the same.

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