Impact of Kobe Bryant

Brianna Doctor

     On Sunday, Jan. 26, five-time NBA champion, Kobe Bryant, passed away in a tragic plane crash along with his daughter, Gianna Bryant. 

     On the way to a youth basketball tournament, the helicopter crashed into a field. There were nine people on board, and all of them died in the crash.

     The other victims of the crash included John Altobelli along with his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, and pilot Ara Zobayan. 

     Unfortunately, the families of the victims did not receive the tragic news until after the media had released the story. 

     Famous media outlet, TMZ, was the first to release the news of the deaths. People took to Twitter and other social media outlets to express their anger over the situation. 

     Actress Ellen Pompeo released a tweet on Tuesday accusing TMZ and its founder of displaying abusive and inconsiderate behavior. 

     “So many questions I have …if we are not tolerating abuse anymore… shouldn’t we be calling this out? Exploiting women who have been abused… exploiting the brutal sudden death of peoples loved ones is certainly emotional abuse… I call times up on his behavior,” Pompeo tweeted. 

     In addition to Pompeo, comedian Ellen Degeneres criticized the news outlet for their inconsiderate actions on her show. 

     TMZ was not the only news outlet to cause an uproar over social media, BBC News released a video of basketball superstar Lebron James instead of Kobe Bryant while broadcasting the news of Bryant’s death.

     Furthermore, ABC News falsely reported that all four of Bryant’s daughters died in the helicopter crash. To top it all off, the country’s president tweeted inaccurate information about the number of people in the crash.

     When it comes to tragedies, media outlets will also take less time to gather true facts and more time on being the ones to report the story first; however, the death of Bryant and his daughter among the seven others killed demonstrated the true nature of media. 

     Consideration for the families was evidently not there for the reports of TMZ, and the Los Angeles police department made it very clear how disgusted they were.

     In a recent statement by Sheriff Alex Villanueva, he scolded TMZ for the the extent of their actions, and he explained how disappointed he was.

     “It would be extremely disrespectful to understand that your loved one… perished and you learn about it from TMZ. That is just wholly inappropriate,” Villanueva said.

     Overall, although it is the media’s job to inform the public about breaking news stories, they should be more considerate of the people that each story impacts to avoid situations like this.  

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