Bill Doskoch: Media, BPS*, Film, Minutiae

Curated knowledge, trenchant insights & witty bon mots

Get ready for the Jacko media circus :(

Jury selection starts Monday in the Michael Jackson sex abuse case.

This BBC story looks at the overall horde that will descend on the Santa Maria courthouse, but I've excerpted the media stuff:

It is going to be a long weekend for the hordes of media staff setting up camp in the car park at the Santa Maria courthouse.

Satellite trucks belonging to network TV stations have started rolling into town for a trial that is certain to dominate the airwaves for much of the year.

The area around the small courthouse is being transformed into a media village reminiscent of “Camp OJ” – the broadcasters' encampment that sprung up around the trial of former American football star OJ Simpson in Los Angeles.

“It's a big deal – we have 14 camera positions for the NBC network and its affiliates,” said technician Ed Nugent as he wired up another piece of equipment.

Miles of cables are being laid between the media pen, where some of the cameras will be based, and the broadcasters' makeshift studios dotted around the court complex.

Michael Jackson fan Michel Martin

About 5,000 fans are expected at the courthouse on Monday

Some local businesses are cashing in by renting office space to media outlets. The larger stations are building elevated stages from which their star-name anchors will get a birds-eye view of the action outside the court.

In court, officials are working against the clock to prepare and issue photo ID credentials to every member of the media.

Over the weekend, more reporters and fans will descend on the town. After months of relatively quiet pre-trial hearings, a frenzied atmosphere is expected to return to the proceedings – similar to the day the singer first appeared in court to proclaim his innocence on child molestation charges.

“It's going to be a circus, there'll be big crowds,” Mr Nugent said. “I have no idea why people are interested – but they are. For me, it's just a job.”

Sun, January 30 2005 » Main Page