Media Coverage Not Royal Wedding The Thing to Follow

Posted on April 17, 2011

Hand-screened Royal Wedding Barf Bags

Let’s be real, unless you a psychotic or terminally ADHD, you will remember to check in for either the live or the rerun broadcast of the Royal Nuptials Friday the 29th.  Those who truly hate this may fork over for a wedding barf bag (they should be in every pew with the hymnal).

But the media is on the move and with big budgets behind them.  London promises to turn into another Woodstock but this time for reporters and their crews.  Like going to a bull fight, they will be there because it is controversial, the participants will be beautifully attired and the prospect that the matador could be gored is in the back of everyone’s mind – danger and beauty – an age-old coupling.

Media encampments will proliferate and it will be interesting to see where they will be.  Here is a brief note from the LA Times on just how big the participation will be on the part of some networks:

Answers to every royal question imaginable is available via the boatloads of TV coverage planned between now and the April 29 nuptials. Every major news organization will air the wedding, with some broadcasts kicking off between midnight and 2 a.m. West Coast time. CNN alone will have at least 125 reporters on the ground in London to cover the story, and BBC America will air a 5 1/2-hour live, commercial-free broadcast on wedding day.

Piers Morgan, who will broadcast his CNN talk showfrom London the week before the wedding, said the royal event is comparable to “two Super Bowls and an ‘American Idol’finale.” He said,”For a few hours, people might not be thinking about all the terrible things going on in the world or in their lives. They’ll be cheering on this couple. I think we need stuff like that.”

Even Black and Trendy – an online magazine for black women had a page with lots of wedding tips.  Among them:

Applications for iPad and soon iPhone are flourishing. NBC’s “Royal Wedding App” has 300 photos, an interactive royal family tree, and advice to create your own viewing party. Other apps like “Royal Wedding 2011″ discuss royal protocol and propose wedding dress choices for Kate.

The New York Times cited the “firsts” that will come with coverage of the event:

So, when Prince William weds Kate Middleton on April 29, the event will be commemorated by a series of media firsts as well.

It will be the first big British royal wedding to be streamed live on the Web. It will be the first to give birth to mobile applications. And it will be the first whose soundtrack will be released on iTunes within hours of the ceremony.

These are, of course, only a few examples of the growing media frenzy surrounding the event. For the world’s media organizations — including television giants like the BBC, cable channels like TLC and myriad digital outlets — April 29 is a red letter day. And not only because the British government has declared a public holiday for the occasion.

How was it that a young couple’s plan to tie the knot, a ritual as traditional as they come, has turned into an interactive, multimedia, multichannel, cross-platform, 24/7, user-generated, hyperlinked, search-engine-optimized, downloadable extravaganza?

Well, this is not just any young couple, and after a global economic crisis, disasters in Japan, the upheaval in the Middle East and other weighty news of recent weeks and months, media executives say the public is eager for a break.

But not all media outlets will be camped out on the sceptered isle that day:

“When looking at major events of this kind, it’s important not to take too Anglocentric an approach,” Mr. Alavy said. “Will it be a big event in the U.K., the U.S. and Australia? Of course. But you can’t just extrapolate that to the rest of the world. Is this going to be of interest to the average person in Russia, China or Brazil? Probably not.”

And “probably not” many in Britain, Canada, Australia and other parts of the nation and Commonwealth.  Still, it is being hyped by major western media outlets.  Post wedding, let’s just see who in the world reports it.

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