Though not really a fan of the type of news they cover I often have to grudgingly give some respect to TMZ.com. Tonight seems to be one of those nights (though I am fighting a nasty case of insomnia so I'll probably blame this on lack of sleep tomorrow)
Putting aside the fact that they are essentially an online gossip rag fueled by the paparazzi you have to admit they're also the best model for citizen journalism out there. The delivery is sloppy with a mishmash of video, audio and text, basically whatever is available at the time, but if you are looking for that type of news there really is no place you'll get it faster.
That is a big part of the draw in that its the only place you can see things unfold in real time. You may not like the Paparazzi (I don't) but they are the best example of citizen journalists in existence right now. There's no doubt that TMZ is a 7 day a week, 24 hours a day website and there's no doubt that you're going to get up to the minute celebrity gossip from them.
Again, I hesitate to give them too much credit given the inspiration for this post is a series of gleefully toned TMZ articles detailing the complete melt down of a certain pop star. Anyone who gets giddy at the sight of a person, any person, being carried out on a gurney and admitted to the hospital on a psych hold really needs to take a long, hard look at themselves.
But however little I might think of the guy doing the reporting he's delivering news that I couldn't find anywhere else and doing so as it happens. Now if only they could redirect their efforts to something a tad more productive...