How the web and print covered Michael Jackson’s death

Guest post by Matt Ball, MSN UK editor-in-chief (follow on twitter @thisismattball)

This post is about media coverage of Michael Jackson’s death.

I’ve compiled an album that shows:

1. Screenshots of mainstream English language websites I took early this morning – all between 1:30am and 2:30am London time, which was about two to three hours after confirmation of Michael Jackson’s death came through. I picked various broadcaster sites, newspaper sites and portal sites to give a flavour of the coverage styles that were used in the hours shortly after the story broke.

2. Photos of the front page of London editions of national newspapers. In some cases we were able to find early editions that did not have the story and later editions that did. While we were working on our own coverage on MSN UK overnight one of my colleagues commented: “Thank your lucky stars you’re not repaginating dozens of pages of a newspaper right now.” Too right (I left print media eight years ago), though I think the papers did very well to turn around their coverage so quickly. The contrast between the early and later editions is stark and impressive.

Take a look at the album:

 

 

I’ve picked out a few websites and newspaper editions below and I’ve also added some additional screenshots of our own coverage but I do think it’s worth perusing the full album.

 

Websites

CNN went for striking and simple:

MSNBC used a slideshow of Jackson images:

MSN.com used what we call a ‘blowout’ on its front page (a wider promotion than is normally used in that slot on the page focusing all the links on one story):

Sky News had a similar set up:

The Sydney Morning Herald was in the minority in its choice of headline:

 

Here at MSN UK we led with this image and suite of links at that time:

Later in the morning we switched a different image and headline and used the additional links under the image for our other content:

And now our photo editor Ant Bennison has come up with this one (photo fans might like Ant’s blog)

And our full coverage page in MSN Music now looks like this:

 

London editions of national newspapers

The Guardian before and after:

The Telegraph before and after:

 

Related links:

Michael Jackson full coverage page on MSN Music

Michael Jackson: a life in pictures

Tributes thread on MSN UK message boards

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