Every month we survey our Pulse Network, which is a network of over 10,000 High School and College Students. This month we heard back from 100 Pulse members. Here is what we learned. Michael Jackson Coverage Over the past couple of weeks, to say that Michael Jackson has been in the news would definitely be an understatement. We wanted to get a better understanding of whether or not High School and College students were actually watching the all the coverage. We got some mixed results ' see below. In the past couple weeks; there has been a lot of news coverage about Michael Jackson's death. How closely would you say you followed these stories? 14% stated I didn't pay attention at all to these stories 41% stated that I didn't follow the stories very closely 22% stated that I somewhat followed the stories 23% stated that I followed the stories very closely Did you watch the watch the Michael Jackson memorial service? 15% stated I watched the whole memorial service on TV 7% stated I watched the whole memorial service online 27% stated I watched bits and pieces of the memorial service 16% stated I only saw news clips of the memorial service 35% stated I didn't watch any of the memorial service Other News? We also wanted to find out if any other news stories captured their interest. Politics and celebrity topped the list ' see below. Other than Michael Jackson's death, what recent news stories have you been following? Is there anything that you would like to ask the Pulse Network? Let us know just email firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment.
I know exactly where I was when the OJ verdict was read (physics class) and when I heard about the planes crashing into the twin towers (at my desk, starting my day at my first job after college), but when someone said Michael Jackson's death would be a generational defining moment for people my age and asked me how I found out two days after his death I could not remember at all. Either my memory is failing me (did I just date myself with the above admissions?), it does not ring true and despite our celebrity-obsessed culture this was actually not a major life moment, or the amount of media we now consume is diluting the 'defining moment'? effect that these collective, national, big events have on us. I did finally remember - I was on the subway when the reports came out; when I emerged from my subterranean 20 minute commute home which so mercilessly cuts me off from the outside world I had a voicemail from my friend Skip and a text from someone else. I called Skip back, kept him on speaker while he gave me his summary of the breaking news that I missed in those 20 whole minutes I was offline, turned the TV on and tuned into CNN, checked Twitter on my Blackberry, and opened multiple news sites on my laptop. Between Skip, Wolf Blitzer, @perezhilton /@cnnbrk/@50,000othersTweetingaboutit, tmz.com, people.com, cnn.com, my Facebook network, and others, I had countless ' literally, I cannot put a number to how many 'sources telling me their versions of the news (which, by the way, were pretty much all the same) and I was exhausted after about 20 minutes of it. It's no wonder that I couldn't pinpoint how I found out. I know what you are thinking and I agree ' dork out, media geek. But I am also willing to bet I wasn't the only one. The next day it remained the dominant story and discussion topic on local and national news and social media sites. By the end of that day people on Facebook were updating their status fields with 'Enough already, let's stop talking about it'? and friends at dinner, after granting themselves a few moments of nostalgia and a faint whisper of a sing-along to the music playing in the bar where we were (a drifting 'mamasaymamasamumacusa'?), were also tired of hearing and talking about it. For a society so hungry for news in both volume and immediacy, we sure wanted to move on quickly ' is our level of media consumption in this age of social media and immediacy of news shortening consumers' attention spans? When Elvis died the story was likely covered by 3 television networks and your local newspaper, so when consumers tuned in starved for information, most likely, there really were updates. Is it that with news at our fingertips 24/7 we grow tired of the volume of news with few real updates? Or perhaps this is just not as memorable a life moment and we are not as celebrity-obsessed as we thought'?¦maybe all of the above.