Current Events

The End of the Road: Digital Mourning in 2012

At the Houston Press office, I am usually the first person who finds out when a celebrity or musician dies, usually from a wire or, these days, the fine folks at TMZ. Hell, sometimes even when I am away from my desk I have to be the bearer of bad tidings, like when Adam Yauch passed on a few weeks ago. The "Breaking News" alert app on my phone brings me a lot of bad news, even on the toilet in a hotel in New Orleans.

In the office, I usually take out my earbuds and say, "So-and-So just died," wait for a somber response or a sad groan, and put my buds back in and attempt to get the ball rolling on a blog. When Michael Jackson's last day unfolded, I gave everyone here the play-by-play sequence that went from home to hospital to morgue.

Blame it on my needle-to-the vein addiction to social media and my undying allegiance to being "the first." It's in the job description, I suppose.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty