Monday, November 5, 2007

From the is this news department:

Here's the story: Two passengers die from natural causes aboard Celebrity's Summit last week while the ship was en route from San Diego to Hawaii. That's not much of a story, but it was enough to generate articles from a number of outlets (we counted at least six) and three from the Honolulu Advertiser alone (including two follow-ups). To make it even more of a waste of space, when the original was published, it included a statement from Royal Caribbean saying the two deaths were completely unrelated (and went on to give the causes). (If they had in any way been related, it would have been unusual and would have had some newsworthyness.)

The general media needs to get over this attitude of anything that happens on a cruise ship is news (such as norovirus outbreaks - they need to learn what the numbers mean). I noticed that on the same day the original story ran, they carried 26 local obituaries. If it's only a matter of grabbing readers' attention, "26 Dead in Honolulu" sounds like a much bigger story to me than "Two Hawaii cruise ship deaths from 'natural causes'" or the following day's follow-up, "Cruise ship arrives in Hawaii with two dead." (By the way, just in case you were wondering, the follow-up article also details the death of a humpback whale Summit struck accidentally in Alaska in 2006, and perhaps I'm dense, but I cannot see the relevance there either.)

Note: Links are valid at time of posting.