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CNN makes exactly the wrong moves as it struggles to differentiate itself 11/15/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in CNN.

The Internet and the Fox News Channel have pummeled CNN’s viewership by exposing that they have been covering the same one-size-fits-all, center-left stories as all other mainstream outlets. Viewers now know that what CNN offers is available from innumerable other sources, and that alternative news outlets often present news in ways that are more compatible with their worldviews. But as a member of Old Media, CNN is reacting as one would expect — with an even firmer conviction that if they just got back to the basics of journalism their problems would go away. They have dropped Reuters news service while declaring that owning their own content is the “backbone of this business.” They are adding 15-16 full-time international correspondents, to be scattered widely across the United Arab Emirates, Africa, Mexico, Eastern Europe, and Asia.

Yet with these changes, CNN will be providing viewers with more of the same, while running even further away from the emerging best practices of New Media. Rather than deliver more faux-authoritative voices reporting government-centric stories from the far reaches of the Earth, they should offer a greater range of personalities reporting on topics that more directly affect our lives, from places we can relate to. Moreover, the emerging business model on the web is not about “owning” talent, but capturing an audience and advertising dollars by doing a superior job of showcasing the diverse talent and deep expertise of others. Apparently, you can’t teach Old Media new tricks.


1. Ydobon - 11/17/07

CNN gets taken to task over the Democratic Debate at the NY Times The Caucus blog.

Comment #31 is fascinating.

#41 talks about possibly misleading editing of a sports interview by CNN.

The Future of News mean you can judge the editing for yourself.

2. Walter Abbott - 11/17/07

And now we find out that it is CNN who plants the questions. Imagine that? Some people still don’t believe the MSM is the Marketing Department for the Democrat party.

Or is the Democrat party the political wing of the MSM?


“Diamonds v. Pearls” Student Blasts CNN (Updated With CNN Response)
16 Nov 2007 11:21 am

Maria Luisa, the UNLV student who asked Hillary Clinton whether she preferred “diamonds or pearls” at last night’s debate wrote on her MySpace page this morning that CNN forced her to ask the frilly question instead of a pre-approved query about the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.

“Every single question asked during the debate by the audience had to be approved by CNN,” Luisa writes. “I was asked to submit questions including “lighthearted/fun” questions. I submitted more than five questions on issues important to me. I did a policy memo on Yucca Mountain a year ago and was the finalist for the Truman Scholarship. For sure, I thought I would get to ask the Yucca question that was APPROVED by CNN days in advance.”

3. Steve Boriss - 11/17/07

Walter, I tend to believe what MSNBC’s Howard FIneman wrote in his classic article. He sees an “American Mainstream Media Party” that views its role as selecting the correct Democratic Presidential nominee. The over-reporting of Howard Dean’s yell was a classic example, and it handed the nomination to John Kerry.

4. Ydobon - 11/17/07

Steve Boriss wrote, “I tend to believe what MSNBC’s Howard Fineman wrote in his classic article. He sees an “American Mainstream Media Party” that views its role as selecting the correct Democratic Presidential nominee.

Politics is a zero-sum game. No matter how much each side repels voters one of them will still get elected to full power.

This is not true for news media that practice political aversion therapy on viewers. They’re all losing.

The audience for each of newspapers (18% drop off peak and accelerating, per the Newsosaur), broadcast news (50% off peak and dropping steadily, per Journalism.org), and news magazines (Newsweek recent -15% circ and -15% ad pages per AdWeek), has been shrinking steadily since 1987.

It began long before the Internet took hold. It’s continued despite a large increase in population.

Keeping the same percentage of attention from the growing population would have meant a huge (20%) audience increase. Audience numbers could have been kept flat just by not losing as much.

True, some of the lost audience has gone to radio and cable news, but a lot is simply disaffected.
CNN’s latest will add to those numbers.

5. Beej - 11/17/07

“I tend to believe what MSNBC’s Howard Fineman wrote in his classic article. He sees an “American Mainstream Media Party” that views its role as selecting the correct Democratic Presidential nominee.”

That sounds right to me. I look forward to reading the article.

And I’m enjoying watching the Democrats who support a candidate other than HRC learn what conservatives learned long ago. Of course, we couldn’t get the “ear” of the New York Times when we tried to voice our complaints.

BTW, I discovered this blog a few days ago and I’m loving it.

6. Ydobon - 11/18/07

A long post from PC Exposed CNN goes green, by gardening plants.

Lots of links there as well. From other posts elsewhere it seems CNN knew the questions in advance. They mis-identified or concealed the identity of supposed “undecided voters.”

Someone already said that the best way to deal with this would be for the non-planted questioner to come forward. How right they were.

If CNN wanted to make FEMA’s press conference look honest and competent they succeeded.

7. Ydobon - 11/18/07

DirectorBlue makes the case, including photos.


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