When the Academy Award nomminations were announced on Jan. 15, it was the biggest entertainment news so far that year. What was interesting, looking at the coverage in various platforms was how it was covered and the discussion that was formed because of it. But let’s start with it’s coverage that morning live on CBS.
What was cool about watching the nominations on TV was that you actually got to see the announcement ceremony, which I find interesting if only for hearing the press in the room sometimes ooh or aww if something got nominated they didn’t expect. CBS bookended the live coverage of the ceremony with round table discussions with the CBS This Morning hosts and a commentator from Fandango about what got nominated and what didn’t. They also talked about who are the frontrunners for many of the awards. The television medium was able to transport you to the announcement ceremony, but the discussion was more rushed and less thorough than the next two presentations.
The Washington Post’s coverage. It’s initial coverage of the nominations gave a complete list of the nominees with some initial thoughts after each category. It lacked some of the “Oscar buzz” of the television segment because you only got the list of nominees but where the print format was more useful was the ability to re-read and analyze the nominations yourself. Also, this article listed how many nominations each movie received, giving readers more information that the television broadcast did not.
Lastly, social media took a different angle than that of television or print. It was almost immediately became clear that the Academy Awards had a diversity problem when people started commenting on the apparent snubs of the movie “Selma,” along with other movies including both racial and gender diversity. None of the twenty acting nominees were people of color, and none of the fifteen directing, screenplay or cinematography nominees were women. And while there were tweets about the snubs for “The Lego Movie” and Jake Gyllenhaal, most were about the lack of diversity using the hashtag, #OscarsSoWhite.
The hashtag and social media movement led to additional news coverage at both CBS and Washington Post, creating a dialogue that wouldn’t have occurred before Twitter. It brought attention to an aspect of the story that may have remained unspoken about. However, social media coverage of news is not perfect. It lacked in overall coverage of the nominations. Knowing who all got nominated solely from Twitter would be difficult, at best.
Every medium had its own successes and failures in trying to tell the complete story, but it was the overall media coverage that made the Oscar nominations an interesting and compelling story this year that will continue to be discussed till the award show and beyond.