Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ethical publishing and sensationalism

When this year wrap up, Michael Jackson's death could be the biggest news of the year, or rather, the most exploited news of the year. Snead (2009) and New York Post (2009) report that OK! magazine spent a huge lump of money, $500,000 to get hold of a photo of a dead Michael Jackson in a stretcher and publish it as their cover.

If that is how magazines are going to operate these days, we may very well be heading back to yellow journalism age again. The lack of sensitivity of publishing companies and reporter these days in valuing sensationalism factor to a story to gain higher profit could very well mark an age of dieing ethical values in publications. To take another example, there is the case of reporter barging into the hospital room of veteran Hong Kong celebrity, Lydia Sum when she was in an ailing health just to capture photos of the now deceased lady. Even if these are gossip magazines, it is no excuse to the distasteful way they are handling the publication.



New York Post, 2009, 'Michael Jackson Death Shot Not OK', 1 July, viewed 19 November 2009,

Snead, E. 2009, 'OK! cover of Michael Jackson's death photo stirs controversy', The Dish Rag, 2 July, viewed 19 November 2009,

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