TMZ Comments

Here are the comments posted to my Facebook page about the TMZ articles. I may add some commentary to them as well if warranted. Thanks for the great postings.

The first set of comments comes from the posting on how TMZ is leading the way on many stories, or breaking them more than other competitors.

Erik Maitland writes:

I, too, have realized how many times they have “broken”! they must be well connected!

Being connected is fundamental to reporting and not waiting for a press release to cross your desk.

Steph Boeding wrote:

I’m guessing they have “well-paid correspondents” on the staffs at all the hospitals in L.A…. I don’t know if I would call it “journalism,” but it sure gets them a lot of attention, and it pays the bills.

And Steph also wrote later in the comments section about the paying the bills part of the equation. Many operations are not paying the bills right now.

Mike Colon submitted two comments. Here’s the first one.

And its not just stories of drunken celebs outside clubs. They make some good points, too. There was a discussion on the show the other day about “why was it okay for Barbra Walters NOT to show Adam Lambert kissing a guy, but ten minutes later to totally show Lady Gaga kissing all kinds of chicks.”

The way TMZ started or how people think of them is drunk celebs, or just walking celebs with a few cameras in front of their face. I seem to remember Iowa’s golden girl Shawn Johnson having the TMZ treatment during her “Dancing with the Stars” days.

Michael Peterson writes about old school and how the new guard may be knocking on the door.

I’m afraid TMZ is part of a growing trend. Tabloid stories are now legitimate news stories. Call me old school, but I just don’t like the direction TMZ is taking broadcast journalism!

TMZ is telling stories that have gone on for years but usually never told. Many news organizations would look the other way on some of the drunken actors, bed hopping starlets and other issues that may have existed.

Actors and wannabe celebrities also subscribe to the school of thought that says a little publicity may help them get the next role or TV show or extend their careers a bit further.

Mr. Colon goes back to fundamentals of reporting. And he brings up a former co-worker of ours who was old-school and taught us much.

But it’s still journalism: you have to know what’s going on, know who to talk to, know where to be to get the story. Maybe they work on comission, but they still have to do the leg work to make the story happen. Ed Lewis (obit) (Paul knows who that was) lamented the lack of shoe-leather reporting; pounding the pavement to get the story instead of waiting to be handed one’s assignment. It might be obnoxious, and meaningless in the big picture; but what TMZ is doing is gathering the info that people want to know.

If you read that first article about TMZ in the NY Times, Harvey Levin, the editor of TMZ says traffic to the site shoots up when Brittney Spears is on the site.

Its like that old discussion, is it life imitating art, or is art imitating life? If the public wasn’t so darn interested in the news, they wouldn’t report it.

Emily Erickson adds a good consumer point of view.

Very disturbing – top news is Tiger sleeping around? As I said, disturbing…

When you are the highest paid golf athlete, if not the highest overall, you draw some attention to yourself and your life. When you drive TV ratings like Tiger does when he’s on TV or ticket sales at any golf tournament he plays in, you draw some attention.

But when the story reaches new heights that it has with Tiger, wow, you’ve got an oil gusher.

Now on to the next post on TMZ on their production and news gathering efforts in the field.

This post came from Tuesday’s post and this comment was left on my Facebook page by Zlatko Filipovic.

Yes, the news media is 5000 years behind TMZ. Of course there are ways to instantly upload video, images, you name it, to the internet. I cannot wait until the day I’m working with some forward-looking people in the media industry. This is ridiculous. Our computers in the newsroom are running on Windows 98.

For other comments, check out the comments section on both posts. Good stuff. Thanks for reading.

One comment

  1. It’s a mixed bag for me when it comes to the TMZ topic. Being a “hard news” person, I usually passed the National Enquirer, Weekly World News, The Insider, and Entertainment Tonight as simply “entertainment” news buoyed by rumors and people taking pictures of entertainers, while hiding in a tree.

    When the news of Michael Jackson’s death began to circulate, I didn’t know of it until 5pm CDT while listening to Perrault and Miller on KXNO, a sports station.

    When I read more into how the story broke, I would have never imagined a “Hollywood” website like TMZ would be the first one to break it. Within several months, TMZ has started to pick up a level of credibility with scooping the mainstream media.

    Brittany Murphy’s death is another great example. Why did MSNBC, Headline News, and CNN, for example, not interrupt their weekend shows with a small bulletin of some sort, letting their viewers know of Murphy’s death?

    It wasn’t until the 5pm hour that the Big Three networks reported on the story.

    Is TMZ sending a message to MSMs, to let them know that they are dropping the ball as far as breaking news story is concerned? Is TMZ becoming successful because they cater to their viewers: the ones who can’t get enough of knowing more information about their favorite actor, mogul, and athletes?

    There’s a lot of questions that even I can’t answer as the progression of TMZ and other online venues continue to grow.

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