A new low in journalism

The third top story on News.com.au tonight is a photo of the dining table inside Whitney Houston’s hotel room. [Update: I originally published this post with a screengrab of the story, but having that photo on my blog didn’t sit well with me. It made me just as bad as them. So, it’s gone.]

Third top by placement, put there by an editor. I ummed and ahhed about clicking on it, but needed the timestamp. It’s been there for five hours. Five hours. Since it’s 9.30pm, that’s most likely two shifts. Two different news editors have decided that it’s ok to run this story.

News.com.au is running images of Whitney Houston's hotel room

A new low in Australian journalism

The first – apparently most important – bullet point: Whitney’s last meal: Hamburger, fries, turkey sandwich. Followed by speculation.

Do we need to know what Whitney Houston had for dinner? No. The answer is no. It’s 99.9999999 out of 100 times always no.

It is grief porn. It has no real news value. It is there to make people think they might see something gory. For shame, News.com.au, for shame.

Update: I published too quickly. It’s the main pic at dailytelegraph.com.au, with the caption:

SEE inside the hotel room of tragic pop star Whitney Houston before her death, including the final meal she ordered.

It’s not a fucking theme park ride.

10 responses to “A new low in journalism

  1. Pingback: Elsewhere – A new low in journalism | Pure Poison

  2. There’s a new news website that looks like it is doing serious journalism. It’s called the Global mail – you can check it out at:



  3. I understand your outrage NWN, but by blogging this topic so quickly, I think you may have just driven your readers to check the DT site and the offending article. Might have been better to wait until today when the piece was relegated to wherever this trash goes.

    • I know. But I trust that not all my readers will click on the article. I originally had screengrabs of the story from the News.com.au and dailytelegraph.com.au sites, but felt very icky doing so.

      Dan, welcome to the News with Nipples.

  4. I think Dan under-estimates the intelligence of the readers here. If we were the types of readers to go rushing over to the site, well, we’d already be there and wouldn’t be likely to be even reading here in the first place. Besides we know too well the crap deal msm gives to women, and the probability that a lot of news sites will fail to accord Ms Houston a modicum of dignity. We really don’t need to see it each and every time to believe it.

  5. It didn’t even occur to me to go and look at it, Dan.

  6. Didn’t occur to me to and look at it either. This post clearly describes all of the reasons why I WOULDN’T go looking over there. It saddens me so much to see another celebrity who was either forgotten or mocked during the later years of their life, being afforded more attention in their passing than they ever were in recent years.

  7. It’s not a fucking theme park ride

    But it’ll do ’til one comes along. This and the recent cavalcade of “artistic” deaths has Disneyland written all over it.

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