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So, does CNN actually present news online?


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"SCREW CNN (w/ graphics) [PG edition]

by lokiloki

Thu Oct 19, 2006 at 09:51:48 AM PDT

 

 

Which is the worse sin, presenting biased news and commentary, or providing total fluff and non-news and masquerading it as actual news?

 

Why is it that Americans don't know, say, where England is, or who, like Bush circa 2000, the leader of Pakistan is? Blame it on the News. And, specifically, blame it on CNN. Sure, intrepid folks COULD go to NPR or BBC, but for the vast majority of Americans, they simply can't, don't have the time, don't know about it...

 

CNN is a scourge. It leads our nation to stupidity. Unlike FOX, which we KNOW is bad, I've always had a bit of a soft spot for CNN, perhaps because Ted Turner founded it and it was a maverick in its time... but no longer. Now it is a fawning imbecile who spews gossip and trivia and sensationalism like it is all-important.

 

Don't believe me? Let's take a look at their home page (from yesterday's "above the fold" CNN home page):

 

CNN HOME PAGE

 

 

Okay, now let's find all of the advertising, including cross-selling and up-selling to other CNN shows and services. Here's what we get:

 

CNN Advertising

 

 

And now lets find all of the dog-bites-man sensationalism, gossip, trivia, and other non-news.

 

CNN Sensationalism, TMZ-like crap, YouTube-like crap

 

 

One notable thing is that this year CNN has really shifted to try and be like YouTube AND TMZ, a video channel and a gossip site respectively. They have stories on Madonna, porn, rappers being shot, crazy wedding cakes, and the like.

 

And now the actual news... wait for it...

 

CNN Actual News

 

 

That is the SUM TOTAL of actual news presented on the above-the-fold CNN home page. And it is not even clear to me that these items are news. The only international story is about the ANC. What gives?

 

This is what their home page would look like if it was presented with just news:

 

 

 

Our population is being dumbed down, literally, with Madonna, wedding cakes, crazy dogs doing tricks, people getting shot and then killing some other dude. How can we compete as a nation when CNN, that fawning imbecile, and the other purveyors fill our heads with trivia dredged from People magazine, TMZ, YouTube, or the local police blotter? ?

 

And the rest of the world? Let's look at China? We hear a lot about how they are censored, and no doubt they are. But let's take a look at one of their top news sites, Xinhua.

 

Xinhua home page

 

 

And then let's remove all of the advertising, sensationalism, and other stuff. What are we left with...

 

Xinhua home page purged

 

 

You could do the same thing in pretty much ANY other country, from France, to Germany, to UK, to Cuba... and what you get on their top news sites is... actual news!

 

In the US, we are subjected to the trifecta of trivia -- CNN, MSNBC, and FOX. WHO CARES about partisan slant when the REAL PROBLEM is that we get no actual news!

 

Thanks, and tell us where you get your news... (me, BBC)...

 

UPDATED: CNN USED to be better... I was browsing the Internet Archive... for some reason the earliest record for CNN is 2000. That's a bit weird. In 1996 and thereabouts CNN was good... and even in 2000, as seen below, it was better. (I like the headline particularly.)

 

 

 

[by the way, another thing about today's journalism... have you noticed how the media tends to inflate conflict... instead of a headline that reads, for example, "So-and-so disagreed with so-and-so", nowadays they will use terms like "slam", "blasts", "smackdown", and other aggressive terms that presumably excites readers to click, but does a disservice to reality. (And I will admit to this too... after all, if the title of my diary wasn't "f*** CNN" would you have read it?)] (Update: On the "slams" comment. Take a look at this Google search. No doubt some are appropiate, but the artificial conflation of a disagreement to a full-bore fight is not reality: for example, "U.S. slams ban on its chickens".)

 

UPDATE AGAIN: Here's the thinking that News execs consider when designing news:

 

In the end, Yahoo kept world news prominent on the front page because users feel secure knowing that it's easily accessible, even if they don't often click it. Conspicuous placement also went to entertainment, which draws heavy traffic from people seeking a diversion at work.

 

With "market forces" essentially designing what information we're presented, we must consider the value of public financing for true news vehicles."

 

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Pretty much every time I check CNN.com, I make a point of looking at the headlines and figuring out the real news to junk news ratio. Junk news often outnumbers real news by about 2-to-1. It's not a great news website, and probably not even a good one. But TV is CNN's real bread-and-butter, and their TV stations are far superior to the website.

 

It's a little misleading to equate CNN with the website and not even mention television.

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Canada has the CBC. Plenty of good that has done them in terms of fostering competition.

 

Maybe if the haters watched Fox News Channel, local Fox affiliates, and visited FOXNews.com....they wouldn't be in a vacuum.

 

 

No, thanks. I'll stick with the Washington Post.

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Canada has the CBC. Plenty of good that has done them in terms of fostering competition.

 

Maybe if the haters watched Fox News Channel, local Fox affiliates, and visited FOXNews.com....they wouldn't be in a vacuum.

 

 

No, thanks. I'll stick with the Washington Post.

Tony Kornheiser FTW.

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