How much information do you really want about a news story? In the case of Steve Mcnair, who was found shot to death with a 20 year old woman in a condominium in downtown Nashville Saturday, people seem to want to know every detail.
But how far will the media go covering the personal activities of the city’s biggest stars? And when does that information go from being relevant to the murder to being National Enquirer type gossip?
There are already lots of stories circulating that Mcnair had several girlfriends around town, that he paid their apartment or condo rent, bought them cars, breast enhancement surgeries and other things. People who frequent area nightclubs say they saw him frequently with different women. They were also not surprised to see pictures of Mcnair and Kazemi on vacation and said it’d be more surprising if more pictures of Mcnair with other girls did not surface.
So with all of that stuff in Mcnair’s closet, how much will the news media report?
I think it’s tricky.
Talking to people in our newsroom, this is the biggest news story (non-weather related) that has hit this town in a decade. And in a city that doesn’t get star-struck by celebrities very often, Mcnair’s following is unusually enamored by the man who led the Titans to the Super Bowl.
How much the news media reports about Mcnair’s private life may depend on how much people want to hear.
In the first 48 hours nearly all of the coverage (besides the police investigation) was about Mcnair’s legacy and the fans mourning his death. Yesterday was the first time I heard someone say they didn’t have as much respect for Mcnair now that they learn he was cheating on his wife and children.
But newsrooms are going to make some decisions in the next few days. What to report and what not to report. And it’s not going to be easy. Do you report scandalous details about Mcnair’s life that do not necessarily pertain to the murder investigation? Girlfriends, the company he kept, places he stayed. And do viewers and newspaper readers even want that much information if it tears down their hero?