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It was a where-were-you moment in a digital age. Michael Jackson's death was not learned from a fatherly TV news anchor. Instead, the news first spread online.
Some of the initial reports from various outlets were confusing: Was Jackson still alive? Was he in a coma? They spread like wildfire across news sites, social media networks and Twitter.
The celebrity Web site TMZ.com. site broke the news of Jackson's death at 5:20 p.m. Thursday.
It was a huge scoop for the AOL-owned TMZ, though many did not believe TMZ's report until it was matched by more established news organizations.