On January 10th, news broke of an incredibly sad and heartbreaking thing; a "where were you when..." moment. Personally, I was sat on the train to work next to my girlfriend when my best mate texted me. Immediately I googled in disbelief and like most people, felt a sudden and almost inexplicable pang of grief. I say inexplicable because I couldn't remember anyone of this magnitude within music dying in the years I had been old enough to understand grief, and to experience such a feeling of loss for someone I had never met.

It was inevitable that a death like this would reverberate around the world, beyond the circles of music aficionados and dominate the media. Radio stations paid respectful tributes all day, my social media feeds were overwhelmed with memories and favourite periods of what was one of the most iconic and successful music careers we're ever likely to see.

"2016 has so far been fucking awful, a conveyor belt of heartbreaking losses to culture."

The coverage over that initial twenty-four hour period was extensive, constant and at times overbearing, but above all, it was all respectful and warranted. However, as the week wore on I started to feel very cynical towards the content. There are the obvious examples - local newspapers claiming an affinity with the artist because he once took a piss in their nearest service station while touring in 1983 - but as more and more of these stories appeared, I became less and less comfortable with the content published online and the motives behind them.

My patience finally waned when, by the Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, stories started to emerge about the twitter account the legendary musician had followed most recently. It's amusing that this great fashion icon, who pushed the boundaries of gender and sexuality stereotypes, had followed an account attributed to the figurehead of a religion notoriously frosty towards the LBGT community. The reason I took exception to these pieces was that it was around lunchtime on Monday, maybe earlier, that this was doing the rounds on Twitter, and while I can understand that among the hundreds upon thousands of tweets about the singer's passing some online publications may have missed it... but all of them? Particularly when I only saw it because it was retweeted by an extremely prominent BBC 6Music presenter and DJ. Aside from the fact I can't believe this was even deemed "newsworthy" to begin with, it means that some editors were sitting on it for up to two days for what I can only imagine would be to push more traffic through their sites.

The fact that you just read four paragraphs without me mentioning the person who passed away, but knew who I was talking about, just shows the magnitude of the deceased's career. I didn't need to assume you, the reader, required a spoon fed list of accomplishments and facts lifted from Wikipedia, you're literate and have an interest in music because you're reading a music and culture website for crying out loud.

"...many publications have turned mourning and celebration of the lives of remarkably gifted individuals into another desperate attempt to drive traffic..."

I started to draft this article the week David Bowie died and I thought I'd made a good point but perhaps then was not the time to make it. Fast forward just three months and we have lost a number of loved stars, but if there was anyone out there who could come close to having made a similar impact as Bowie on music, culture and society, it was Prince, but again, as I was at the beginning of the year, I am upset at how some outlets are reporting this untimely and tragic loss to art almost as deeply as I am saddened at losing another idol from my youth and beyond.

As the year goes on, it seems to me that many publications have turned mourning and celebration of the lives of remarkably gifted individuals into another desperate attempt to drive traffic, and it is almost immediately now that, instead of serious obituaries paying fitting tributes to these cherished stars, we have gifs and lists rammed into our social media feeds mere moments after the news has broken.

2016 has, so far, been fucking awful - a conveyor belt of heartbreaking losses to culture - but are we really at a point in journalism where editors and news desks feel society is too dumb to consume serious media or that clicks on your website for the sake of some incremental ad revenue is more important than showing respect? That the lives of people who have had such an impact on the world, that everyone knows who they are or what they achieved and can look back with affection on a song or a movie or a show or a book or a performance, are trivialized by the media hours (even moments) after their passing, is a damning indictment of the direction this industry has been heading in for some time now. #content over content.