In the Wake of Brittney Murphy’s Death, Twitter Provides Platform for Newsworthy Public Statements

As the Sunday news cycle erupted with news of Brittany Murphy’s tragic death, I couldn’t help but notice a consistent mention in each story I read: celebrity condolences from Twitter. Not only were People, E! and other tabloid-esque media including this information, but The AP, The New York Times and other more traditional news outlets included Twitter mentions in their coverage of the actress, as they would a formal public statement.

CNN even posted a follow-up article discussing the social media frenzy the ensued following the announcement:

The topic “RIP Brittany Murphy” began trending on Twitter on Sunday evening, as millions included the phrase in their Twitter postings. Most fans simply wanted to share their feelings about Murphy, 32, and talk about their favorite movie roles. . . One Facebook page, “RIP Brittany Murphy,” had 2,000 members as of Monday morning with fans posting their shock about the “Clueless” actress’ death on the page’s wall.

While recent deaths including Patrick Swayze and Michael Jackson resulted in similar trending topics on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, this was the first time that “hard-hitting” news sources substituted interviews for tweets—and I don’t think it’s a bad thing.

Whereas more traditional means of getting public statements from friends and family of the deceased would have travelled through a conduit of publicists, lawyers and agents, the commentary tweeted directly by Kutcher and others appeared to be heart-felt and genuine. In my humble opinion, I find that “from the horse’s mouth” commentary to be a refreshing addition to the news cycle, especially in reports of loss and tragedy.



Filed under Celebrity, Facebook, Pop Culture, Social Media, Trend, Twitter

2 responses to “In the Wake of Brittney Murphy’s Death, Twitter Provides Platform for Newsworthy Public Statements

  1. Roisin Hansche

    Dear Pop Culture,

    Thank you for the wonderful article about NRDC Action Fund’s “This is Our Moment” Campaign. We are so glad you choose to cover this critical issue.

    However, we do have one small correction. In the first line of the second paragraph, the “Natural Resources Defense Council”, is credited with the campaign’s launch but it was actually NRDC’s sister 501(c)4 organization “Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund” who was responsible for the video!

    Could one of your editors alter the organization’s name to prevent any further confusion?

    Thanks again,
    Roisin Hansche

    • laurenbegley

      Thanks, Roisin! We’ve made the update in the This is Our Moment entry. We certainly want to make sure we are sharing accurate information with our readers, so I appreciate the feedback.

      I hope you’ll continue to visit Pop Culture 2 Point 0 and please share any additional information on the TIOM campaign. Thanks!

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