Saturation News Coverage - CNN

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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Anyone who tunes into CNN from to time as I do couldn't avoid noticing that they covered nothing but the downed flight 370 story all day, every day, for most of a month. I kept wondering what in the world they were doing. How much talk of pingers and pinger locators can a person really watch? This is nuts!!!

But this was no accident. Later I saw an interview in which this was discussed. CNN has made the calculation that in order to stand out in the oceans of news channels, blogs, and endless editorializing, a better strategy is to cover one big story exclusively. And the bet paid off. In about a month they doubled their market share of viewers.

The first Gulf war is what made CNN. They provided the first live and continuous coverage of a war. It seems that once again CNN has taken the lead in reinventing the world of journalism.
 

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  • #2
phinds
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In about a month they doubled their market share of viewers.

That's very bad news. Means we'll have more of this crap. I found it so disgusting that I instantly tuned them out at the first word or image about that plane, which means just about ever time I tuned in. I liked having 4 news channels to switch among even if 2 of them (FOX and MSNBC) are barely "news" channels by any reasonable definition. I'm now down to the 2 bad ones plus the BBC. Bummer.
 
  • #3
Ivan Seeking
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That's very bad news. Means we'll have more of this crap. I found it so disgusting that I instantly tuned them out at the first word or image about that plane, which means just about ever time I tuned in. I liked having 4 news channels to switch among even if 2 of them (FOX and MSNBC) are barely "news" channels by any reasonable definition. I'm now down to the 2 bad ones plus the BBC. Bummer.

Perhaps, but it could be a positive sign. What strikes me is that this takes us back to the idea of in-depth coverage of one subject. That is an idea that has all but been lost to a world of 10-second news flashes. And one can see where the load on the news agencies has grown immensely. Perhaps it is no longer possible to be all things to all people. Selective coverage does make more sense if there is any hope of depth. This goes even further and established that CNN is the place to go for information about the lost aircraft... and nothing but that! That was precisely their intent and it worked.
 
  • #4
Ivan Seeking
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What's next, the Obama Care Channel? :biggrin:

We saw sports and weather split from the mainstream of news to go their own way. And recently we have seen partisan TV, with Fox and MSNBC being polar opposites. This in a sense was another split in the mainstream of news. Now it seems that we are moving towards single subject news channels.
 
  • #5
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I only use Al Jazeera. They have a good mobile app, it's free and they cover the news well.
 
  • #6
Ivan Seeking
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I only use Al Jazeera. They have a good mobile app, it's free and they cover the news well.

Interesting! So you would prefer to allow Al Jazeera to determine 100% of the time what is and is not news for you? And you trust them to relate 100% of all significant information about all subjects that are determined by them to be important?
 
  • #7
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I don't like the "overdone" news coverage either. Give me what's important and get on to the next topic.
 
  • #8
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Interesting! So you would prefer to allow Al Jazeera to determine 100% of the time what is and is not news for you? And you trust them to relate 100% of all significant information about all subjects that are determined by them to be important?


I'm surrounded by news coverage at work and I sometimes buy a Sunday paper as well. I find that Al Jazeera is the best rounded site and keeps me up to date adequately.
 
  • #9
Choppy
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I used to be a bit of a news junkie.

But since I've had kids (four year now), I just haven't had time to watch it. We make a point of keeping the television in the basement and really only turn it on once or twice a week for movies. I listen to the radio (CBC) and catch current events that way, but even with that I don't really catch much with all the busyness of a four and a two-year old going on.

And you know, I don't think that I'm really missing much.

For a while I used to have my iGoogle page set up to feed in the headlines from various sources. I liked that because I got headlines from Science Daily (and various other sources).

I miss iGoogle. I wish they hadn't gotten rid of it.
 
  • #10
arildno
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I don't like the "overdone" news coverage either. Give me what's important and get on to the next topic.
How does CNNs coverage of the flight catastrophe prevent them from covering other stories as well??
 
  • #11
Ivan Seeking
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How does CNNs coverage of the flight catastrophe prevent them from covering other stories as well??

They chose not to cover anything else.

I like the idea that I might be able to tune in for in-depth coverage of subjects important to me. This is why I have always been a fan of shows like Meet the Press. At lease one can find more than five or ten seconds devoted to each important story! And much of what people call news is really just editorializing.

It is definitely a drastic step for CNN to take but it was gutsy as well as innovative.
 
  • #12
Curious3141
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People need closure after a massive disaster. Closure eluded everyone for a long time simply because the plane wasn't located for ages. That makes it newsworthy. If they'd found the wreckage, counted the bodies/body parts and buried everyone with alacrity, then the whole story would've been sewn up much quicker, and further news of official actions, accusations and recriminations would have been limited to local/regional news, not global.

I think a lot of this griping had to do with the perception that the disaster wasn't related to the US, or even "the West" in general. Would it be fair to say that the news coverage of 911 was overblown? Yes, almost 3000 people perished in a massive terrorist attack, but the news coverage in global sources (not just American news media) seemed to go on and on and on constantly featuring the rescue efforts and cleanup of Ground Zero.

Think about it: it's by no means the disaster with the highest casualty count - for instance, the Bhopal gas disaster took well over 10,000 lives, but I don't think the global news coverage was anywhere near as persistent as that for 911. But the fact that 911 was a massive terrorist attack (something inflicted with malice aforethought) *and* it happened on the soil of the primary Western power - both combined to make it extremely newsworthy. And the fact that the 911 coverage seemed to segue almost spookily into the "War on Terror" continued to make it globally newsworthy.

What I'm saying is that "overblown" news coverage is a very subjective thing, and a "casualty count" is not the only determinant (or perhaps even the most important one). Also, this is the age of global media and "instant news coverage". Any major event that's newsworthy in a country automatically becomes newsworthy the world over. MH370 remained newsworthy for a long time simply because of the lack of closure I alluded to.
 
  • #13
Astronuc
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They chose not to cover anything else.

I like the idea that I might be able to tune in for in-depth coverage of subjects important to me. This is why I have always been a fan of shows like Meet the Press. At lease one can find more than five or ten seconds devoted to each important story! And much of what people call news is really just editorializing.

It is definitely a drastic step for CNN to take but it was gutsy as well as innovative.
My preference would the NewsHour on PBS.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/

They tend to focus on three or four stories, as well as providing some thoughtful analysis.
 
  • #14
Ivan Seeking
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My preference would the NewsHour on PBS.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/

They tend to focus on three or four stories, as well as providing some thoughtful analysis.

Yes, they have been my favorite since it was the Robert MacNeil Report, which became the MacNeil Lehrer Report, then the M/L News Hour, and finally the PBS News Hour.

But even PBS can't provide the in-depth coverage of one story, day after day, that one might desire for subjects having personal importance. I find this experiment very interesting and wonder where it might lead.
 

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