Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Michael Jackson still has no privacy?

OK! Magazine caused an uproar after publishing Michael Jackson's photo being carried on the stretcher which was pronounced dead. They paid $500, 000 for that photo according to Snead (2009).


Indeed Michael Jackson is a legend but how ethical it is to post a photo of a person on his deathbed on the front cover of a magazine?


As sorry and guilty as I am to publish this photo, doesn't cause a sense of anger to see this photo being publish as the front cover of a magazine? This caused such a big uproar that celebrities like Sean Combs and Jay-Z are boycotting this magazine (, 2009)

"Michael Jackson's dying pictures: a hot trend search today. Does America have a sick sense of fascination with death or curiosity?" Starr, 2009.

Speaking in terms of cultural context, it is generally understood that it is disrespectful to post a picture of someone who has passed away. It shows no sign of respect and it feels like it is taking away the dead's sense of dignity. But why did the magazine did it anyway?

Sensationalism is the word.
"Sensationalism: (Noun) The use of exciting or shocking stories or language at the expense of accuracy, in order to provoke public interest or excitement." (Stacey, 2009.)

Taking sensationalism to this extent in my opinion is too much. Even pictures of the dead (people not as well known as Michael Jackson) that has been released on newspaper became a topic of discussion on CNN stating that, "this ethical journalism, is a bit over the border line." (

In order to define a stronger line on journalism ethics, this is a good example case to be taken on press charge. Not only it defy human rights, cultural ethics and journalism ethics but it also shows how greedy the human race are nowadays to wealth and fame towards such an extent.

"Michael Jackson Death Shots NOT OK", 2009, viewed on 19 November 2009, on

Snead, E. 2009, 'OK! cover of Michael Jackson's death photo stirs controversy', viewed on 19 November 2009, on

Stacey, 2009, Sensationalism,, viewed on 19 November 2009, on

Starr, C. 2009, Photos of Michael Jackson dying published online,, viewed on 19 November 2009, on

"When Does the Media Cross the Line of Newsworthiness to Exploitation?", 2003, viewed on 19 November 2009, on

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