2,200 Journalists Await Michael Jackson Verdict
There are more journalists assembled in Los Angeles awaiting the Michael Jackson trial verdict than there were for the O.J. and Scott Peterson trials combined.
About 2,200 members of the media have received credentials to cover Michael Jackson’s trial Ã¢€” more than the O.J. Simpson and Scott Peterson murder trials combined and enough to form a vast, humming tent city outside the modest courthouse. Reporters from every continent but Antarctica are covering a story that has attracted perhaps the largest-ever media contingent for a criminal trial. The satellite trucks and portable toilets function at all hours, since foreign correspondents must file past midnight to meet deadlines an ocean away.
Major TV networks have committed dozens of staff members. Nearly four miles of television cables snake around the complex. The explosion of phone calls that a verdict will trigger prompted some news organizations to install land lines for fear the region’s cell networks could become jammed.
What’s odd about this is that, in my perception at least, this trial has paled in comparison with the O.J. Trial, the last (only?) of these media-hyped trials that I actually followed closely. It seemed like the nation was glued to the television for every aspect of that one, starting with the infamous white Bronco slow chase. The Jackson trial has mostly been fodder for bad pedophilia jokes.
Perhaps my view is colored by the fact that I do most of my news gathering online these days and seldom watch television news, certainly compared to what I did only a few years ago.