“They don’t keep black folk in stock…” Covering Whitney Houston’s death

A brief observation about mass media coverage of Whitney Houston and black celebrities in general…

CNN only seems to have one clip of Whitney singing/performing? I asked no one in particular on Twitter last night to which @106harlem responded: You know they don’t keep black folk in stock.

I couldn’t understand why for a couple of hours CNN kept showing the same footage of Whitney in a grey dress singing on stage, while NBC seemed to have slightly more diverse clips to accompany the sparse details of her death yesterday. @106harlem’s terse response is shocking but true. Within a few minutes @diverseworld chimed in saying @anniepaul @106harlem … If this is about the footage. I agree. Finally BBC moved from the Bodyguard…

So BBC was guilty of this as well…interesting little sidelight: media houses have to keep stock footage of various celebrities to use in case they die suddenly or for any other reason make the news. In fact newspapers and magazines have obituaries prepared and ready to roll out for a number of top political leaders, actors, musicians, business leaders and others just in case…

In this case not only did no one expect Whitney to go so soon, the two megamedia entities,┬áCNN and BBC, didn’t even have enough stock footage of her performances on hand to round out their news coverage.

*Gallic shrug* C’est la vie.

By far the most beautiful audio of Whitney Houston I’ve come across is this one:

Author: Annie Paul

writer, editor and avid tweeter anniepaulose@gmail.com

One thought on ““They don’t keep black folk in stock…” Covering Whitney Houston’s death”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s