Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should

This is a bit insensitive, News.com.au:

News.com.au - offering live coverage of someone being confirmed dead.

News.com.au - offering live coverage of someone being confirmed dead.

The headline “Steve Jobs, 1955-2011” would make you look a little less giddy with excitement over the news that someone has died.

Plus, talk about not getting the point of a live blog. Here, let me explain it to you. I promise I won’t use big words: A live blog is for unfolding events. Once someone has died, there ain’t a lot more to happen. Sure, “tributes will flow in” (one of journalism’s favourite cliches), but the event itself is over.

News.com.au tells us they don't have any news

News.com.au tells us they don't have any news

If you don’t have any news, why bother saying it? It just opens you up to jokes at your expense: “Hurr, hurr, News.com.au has admitted they don’t have any news on their site”.

Sure, there is more to come after this story – those tributes have to “flow in” – but just because you have the technology to live blog, doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for every story. I thought that was pretty obvious.

Update (and no, I’m not live-blogging the news coverage. I just saw this and felt my criticism should be fair and balanced): Now smh.com.au is doing it too:

Smh.com.au also feels the need to live blog a death

Smh.com.au also feels the need to live blog a death

Tell me, what’s more important: knowing that Bill Gates said “I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work”, or knowing that he said it 11.40am?

8 responses to “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should

  1. How deeply tasteful.

  2. Isn’t this what the obituaries are for?

  3. Steve Job’s is not the only man of social import to die today.
    http://www.good.is/post/five-things-you-should-know-about-fred-shuttlesworth/

    But of course, the world will remain none the wiser as we “zombie watch”.

    (Not to mention all the other people suffering pancreatic cancer who will more than likely lose their battle. Perhaps the blog could have been used to raise awareness of HOW Jobs died and to support those still fighting.–in a perfect world right?)

    • Ooh thanks for that Pirra, very interesting link indeed.

    • Thank you Pirra. Shuttlesworth is of social import (although I’ll admit I had never heard of him) whereas Steve Jobs was just a rich white man and there are plenty of them around.
      Sure they made a big deal about Kerry Packer when he left us but they didn’t pretend he was some sort of saint like they do with Jobs. In my view inventing something that is aesthetically pleasing (or running the company that invented it) and then ruthlessly crushing all competition is no real feat.

  4. And I didn’t think Bill Gates and Steve Jobs got on with one another. Never speak ill of the dead Bill…..

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