Oct 3, 2017

Breakdown: how did so many outlets bungle news of Tom Petty’s ‘death’?

News outlets were free fallin' into fake news cycles when CBS reported Tom Petty's death.

Emily Watkins — Media reporter

Emily Watkins

Media reporter

The news of rocker Tom Petty's death swept through online news websites and social media this morning, Australian time, following reports from gossip site TMZ. Tributes were posted by celebs and prepared obituaries published. The problem, though, was that Petty was not actually dead -- he had a cardiac arrest and was taken to hospital, but he was still alive.

The death was reported by US network CBS -- a network that prides itself on its news coverage -- after the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed the news. CBS and Variety both reported the death early on, saying they had confirmed it with their sources.

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8 thoughts on “Breakdown: how did so many outlets bungle news of Tom Petty’s ‘death’?

  1. Lasso

    Or Tom just wanted to make a quick buck off of the huge sales boon that a passing artist is to music labels, PRIOR to his actual death… think outside the square a bit people…

      1. mikeb

        Yep – The Dead Wilburys with George and Roy.

  2. mikeb

    It’s hard to blame the media outlets if the LAPD confirmed it….or did I read that wrong?

  3. rhwombat

    Um. Down time of >20min at non-subzero temperatures – as my brother, who was a Medical Examiner (Forensic Pathologist) in New Mexico had on his running shirt: “You ain’t dead till we say so”.

  4. Woopwoop

    OK, so the reports of his death were a bit premature.
    But only a tiny bit.

  5. Jackson Harding

    And now the reports are that he went into cardiac arrest and could not be revived. Sounds like he was dead all along to me.

  6. AR

    Come onnn, Crikey, this ‘rush to publish’ rates an article? Damned navel fluff.

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