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'Don't Do Me Like That': A Lesson In Media Accountability

Posted by Clay Steward on Oct 5, 2017 11:00:00 AM

On Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, the world lost a true titan of rock ‘n’ roll. Tom Petty was America’s great common denominator. Everyone, it seemed, liked Petty. 

The moment word broke that he had been discovered unresponsive at his Malibu home, and transported to UCLA Medical Center, newsrooms across the country went into hyper-drive. Social media posts rapidly multiplied. Obits were commenced. Sources were dialed. Comments from Petty’s fellow rock luminaries were sought. However, in an effort to be first with the seemingly imminent news of Petty’s death, a few prominent media outlets prematurely reported that he already died, setting off a wave of confusion, and ultimately condemnation from the rocker’s family.

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Topics: Communications, Public Relations, Tom Petty