“We are totally wired in this town,” Harvey Levin, the site’s editor in chief, said in a telephone interview Friday…

Among many journalists, “there’s still this residual but not yet vestigial instinct to think ‘Oh, it’s just TMZ, let’s wait for The Associated Press or The New York Times or The Los Angeles Times before we can say it’s true,” he said, adding: “I don’t think in, say, five years, that will be the case.”

The Jackson family said the time of death was 5:26 p.m. Eastern, several minutes after TMZ’s report, leading some to wonder whether the Web site looked accurate only in hindsight. Mr. Levin stood by the report, calling it 100 percent accurate.

Paramedics on the scene “said he was dead long before we posted the story,” Mr. Levin said, perhaps providing a hint about the his sources.