Is CNN Always Like This?

While traveling recently, I watched some television.  Even though I don’t own a TV, I now and then catch fragments of programs that someone or another has posted on their blogs.  Or I hear about something said on one of the talk shows.  So, I’m not entirely naive of what’s going on in television these days.  But I was a bit surprised when I tuned in CNN last week.

Among other things, they aired a segment on the student protests in London.  What surprised me was how little information about the protests they managed to convey during the several minutes they allocated to them.   The announcer kept repeating that CNN had expected the protests would be over by then.  So, the headline might have been, “Protests Continue Despite CNN’s Wild Newsroom Speculations”.  But the announcer said almost nothing about what the students were protesting, and absolutely nothing about what the students wanted to make happen.

Until now, when I’ve heard people complain about how superficial the TV news is, I’d been thinking they meant it was superficial because it neither raised nor answered questions like, “Who are the leaders of the student protests”?, or “How much hardship would the budget cuts create for the average student?”, or even “What technologies are being used to organize the protests?”  But CNN wasn’t even making decent mention of the fact the students were protesting budget cuts to education.  How can you turn your cameras on a few thousand students out in the streets and not be reasonably curious about why they are there?

So now I’m wondering if CNN is always like that or if I just happened to catch them on a bad day, so to speak?

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10 thoughts on “Is CNN Always Like This?

  1. I can’t really comment, since I don’t have access to CNN either, but this post does remind me of how good those of us whose primary news source is the internet have it. On TV, you’re stuck with the information they present you, and the more you watch the easier it is to accept the limited information as the only information. On the internet, when we have questions or are dubious of some point, we’re a few clicks away from fleshing out our news experience. Granted, we have to rely on the reporter doing their job, but at least we have access to everything there is out there, on our schedule, per our needs.

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  2. Paul, most of the U.S. news media is like this! They focus on ratings rather than data, and thus they air heart-pounding videos while providing little actual information. Apparently details and thoughtful analysis of current events will put American viewers to sleep, they fear.

    I’m a BBC fan, myself. BBC is by no means perfect, but it is a step up from the American news outlets.

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  3. We tossed our TV a decade ago. No programs we really were that interested in watching, and no desire to pay money to get better reception to watch 200 channels that we didn’t find interesting either. CNN was a part of our thinking, but only a part.

    In more recent years, I used to catch CNN at the gym. It seemed like headline news. It was headline news. The in-depth reporting seemed more like staged drama starring people sitting down at desks.

    I find their website more useful, and I look at it together with other news sources to get a more comprehensive, broad overview of the news. The advantage of the ‘net is being able to access dozens of news sources as quickly as one can access a single news source on TV.

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  4. Finding decent a news show is difficult and much of the pablum, er news, is sanitized for the “average” viewer. I do like the emergence of the faux news shows like “The Daily Show” and the “Cobert Report”, especially if it gets the younger crowd to seek more information after a humor piece is done on some of the more pressing events of the day.

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