CNN and MSNBC began rolling coverage Thursday morning. After the Queen’s obituary was announced Thursday afternoon, ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox News suspended their regular programming to do the same.
Thursday morning’s image was one of Foreboding and Passage, including a shot of Balmoral’s gates in dark skies and rain. The image powerfully conveyed the timeless feeling of waiting at the gate for words from the castle.
The night image of a sea of black umbrellas in the rain outside Buckingham Place was equally evocative and moving.
Emotional moments like that provide a little balm for the pain of loss, and the media brought them to our screens.
The Queen, the media and the changing times
One of the biggest challenges in covering Elizabeth’s life and reign was balancing the accolades for her public service with the behavior of her children and changes in attitudes towards the monarchy.
Of course, in the wake of the death of such a figure, that impetus is increasingly forced to bring only praise. And it often did so through quality, wholesome, basic journalism.
CNN correspondent Scott McLean interviewed a young woman standing outside Windsor Castle and asked her reaction when she first heard that the Queen was under medical supervision.
“I think it’s pretty sad,” said the woman. “You wouldn’t want that to happen to your family. But I’m not the biggest fan of queens or monarchies in general. So I’m not upset or overwhelmed by it.
“So you’re not Monarch’s biggest fan. I wonder why,” McLean replied.
The woman cited “British colonial history” and allegations of sexual misconduct by Prince Andrew as reasons.
The interview took less than a minute and was quickly swallowed by a wave of critics’ praise, the interviewee being someone whom he not only deeply admired but came to think of as an island of tradition and stability of his time. He talks about how deeply saddened he is to die. of confusion and conflict. But that voice had to be part of the coverage, even for just one minute in the midst of hundreds of people filled with praise.
At the time of the interview, every channel and many online platforms were posting pictures of Andrew arriving in Balmoral by car with his nephew Prince William, brother Edward and Edward’s wife Sophie.
BBC Studios correspondent and MSNBC contributor Katty Kay explained why she thought her channel and people around the world had stopped what they were doing, responding to rolling coverage of Elizabeth’s death on Thursday. went.
“She’s always been a reassuring presence in an ever-changing world, and that’s irreplaceable,” Kay told anchor Nicole Wallace.
Kay said her words weren’t meant to “normalize” the Queen, saying, “There were mistakes made. Diana’s death stands out as the biggest.”
However, Kay concludes: And in a world that has changed as rapidly as ours…that’s an amazing feat. ”