The results are in on our Michael Jackson poll with the majority of our readers learning about the pop star’s death online.
Forthy-three percent of voters learned the news through an internet news source such as TMZ, People.com or Yahoo! This is followed by 29 percent who heard the news through other outlets (including television and instant messenger). Finally, Facebook and Twitter were tied at 14 percent.
Other than voters who chose television, pretty much everyone heard the news online. Not one person in our poll read it in the newspaper or heard it on the radio.
If Jackson had died in the middle of the night, would the results be different? What about in other countries? We did receive a tweet from a chap in Melbourne, Australia who, because of the time difference, woke up to hear about MJ’s death on the morning news.
Since the Gloved One’s passing took place in the middle of the American work day, when the majority of American workers were sitting in front of a computer, it seems only natural that most Americans would hear about it online. This is particularly true given the immediacy of the internet, and the ease of texting, e-mailing and sharing links.
So what does that say about newspapers? How can they keep up and stay relevant when the internet always beats them to the punch? If newspapers don’t adapt to this reality and find new, more in depth ways to present information, they will sadly continue down the path to extinction they are already on.