The death of Michael Jackson makes one wonder about the fascination that the world has with celebrities. Are reporters out there just to get their piece of the pie or are they there for the people? Can we bring dignity back to the lives of many- regardless of who they are?
There is some kind of ‘special treatment’ approach which reporters give to celebrities and their lives; Funerals, weddings and even the birth of babies. When a reporter goes into a humble community, they see life for what it is. There is no objectifying of people yet when they see an opportunity to lather themselves in a celebrity’s life, they do so. Reporters need to remove this role which they play out for the people whom they report about.
What about Michael and the Jackson family? Doesn’t the family deserve some kind of respect towards the loss of their son/father/brother? Certainly, it has become undignifying towards Jackson himself. His death is commercialized. Parties which have no connections with him suddenly find themselves standing around reporting on Michael Jacksons funeral as though it were some kind of ‘feast-fest’ of photography and controversy.
Anele Ngwenya FJP reporter