You've got to hand it to People magazine. It may "report" on some questionable topics—Spedi anyone?— but when it comes to landing the biggest celebrity stories, no one even comes close. Sure, US Weekly got the big story on Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston's engagement, but considering the relationship was kaput two weeks later I don't think People was really too disappointed about that one.
In this week's issue, it has landed the much-coveted— and apparently only—interview with Elin Nordegren, Tiger Woods' now-ex wife. It's certainly not the first time People had landed such a celebrity story. In 2006, it won the all-out bidding war and published the first photos of then-newborn Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, reportedly paying out millions of dollars for the rights to the photos and interview. I wrote a media analysis then, exploring the true value of these exclusives in a 24/7 world where photos or interview excerpts spread like wildfire before an issue actually hits newsstands, and that question still remains. Yes, maybe people learned about the interview and its contents on Today or read it on Gawker, but even so People still got the bragging rights and its editor made the media rounds. So, does the celebrity exclusive still hold the weight it did in the pre-Internet era?