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Profiteering on the Prince of Pop?

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His Weirdness’ local newspaper, the Santa Maria Times, calling the trial “a piece of history,” is selling that history at a buck a pop.

SANTA MARIA, Calif. — The Santa Maria Times, a morning daily, published an extra edition about the verdict in Michael Jackson’s molestation trial with a banner headline reading “NOT GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS.”

It was marketed as a commemorative edition, a $1 souvenir for readers in a city whose residents have enjoyed or endured the spotlight of celebrity trial.

About 6,000 copies of the 8-page color edition were printed and “we sold a bunch down at Neverland ranch” to fans, said Tom Bolton, the newspaper’s executive editor.

Sales were brisk even through the edition costs twice as much as the regular morning paper, which has a circulation of about 20,000.

Hawkers were “coming back and basically dropping bags of money,” Bolton said.

“It’s just one of those events that people are connecting with,” he said. “And it’s a piece of history.”

I can’t blame any newspaper for trying to make hay while the sun shines. But when readers later think of a newspaper as “sensationalizing” news to make a buck, the Times might want to remember the true cost of this “special edition.”


Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

June 15, 2005 at 3:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. That’s disturbing. But more importantly, the best piece of journalism, per se – and correct me if I’m wrong (I’m not) – is headline from The Onion that reads “Enchanted By Own Innocence, Michael Jackson Molests Self.” I don’t think I can stress that enough.


    June 17, 2005 at 12:09 am

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