On Tragedy and the Power of Google News.

There’s a new game I’ve been playing, which is to find stories on Google news, rank them by date, and go back to the beginning and try to anticipate how the story will unfold. One of the most interesting stories I have come across recently was the Urban Music Awards ceremony and the fate of its presenter.

The earliest recent entry on the topic is from the Sun on the 3rd November. Titled “Naomi will blow your top off”, an article which has become decoupled from the sexy publicity pics it was written to deliver touts the presenting skills of one Naomi Millbank-Smith, formerly of reality tv show shipwrecked, who will be hosting the awards. In a rare candid moment, Naomi reveals “There’s a lot of pressure to do it alone with no co-host, but I can’t wait.”
The next reference, on the 14th November, is Naomi popping up for another bite at the cherry, again accompanied by now absent sexy pictures, to tell us in an article titled “Naomi’s a sweetie” that she “aims to make the most of her big break.”

The night of the big event she must have been as anxious as any thesp to see the first editions. She had done all the right things- get her tits out in a lad’s mag, do some sexy lollipop sucking for the Sun’s photographers, even getting and remaining on a reality tv show in the first place had been hard enough, and now the night had finally arrived. Could she do what so many have tried, but only Craig from Big Brother 1 and to a lesser extent Chantelle have achieved, and turn a brief cock-teasing tv exposure into a serious telly career?

The first report on the evening didn’t mention her- a wire release from teletext, it had “event abandoned after brawl” as its headline. It was followed by “Three knifed at Urban Music Awards” on Sky News, and the following morning the Times neatly tied all the strings together with “Urban Music Awards at O2 abandoned after stabbings in huge brawl”

It follows the familiar dramatic pattern of a disaster movie- reading these articles in order we can imagine Naomi’s excitement as she prepares herself, the chicane of emotion as what was to be her big break is forgotten in the melee of broken bottles and blood. In the final tally, only three out of the 407 news articles mention her at all; most of the coverage centers on the fact that the fight broke out as an award was about to be presented by an anti-crime organisation.

Still, she managed to recover from the trauma and is getting her name back in the papers; a current search reveals that she is dating someone called Dale Howard, although Now magazine, who had the scoop, have declined to picture her. The tenacity some of these people have to demonstrate just to get a little bit of fame makes you wonder if the rewards- in Naomi’s case having builders masturbate over your image in a grubby newspaper and compering an attempted murder- really can be worth the effort.

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