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Press Think: Opinion: Dan Gillmor: Criticizing CNN: Goodbye to That
Whatever happened to the Cable News Network which if not was the standard at least when it came to cable news if not TV news in general was a standard that had this mentality of “just the facts” without bias’ or trying to report news with political slants. But reporting exactly what’s going on in the world and what is important that they viewers need to know. About with intelligent professional analysts who explained what these things meant and not trying to tell us what to think.
And lately CNN hasn’t been the Cable News Network, but more like the News Rating Network, perhaps the OMG Report, reporting on everything awesome and tabloid. Or the Everything Awesome Network, trying to compete with E and perhaps what is now called True TV. “How can we make money and compete with FOX News and tabloid news networks”. The George Zimmerman trial is a perfect example of that, but they had the Jodi Arias trial before that. And they seem to have this idea that most Americans aren’t that interested in hard news anymore. And rather know what Kim Kardashian or George Zimmerman had for lunch today. Rather than the turmoil in Egypt the largest country in Arabia experimenting with Democracy for the first time ever.
Is cable news a business? Of course it is, anything that’s done by companies are business’s. And of course CNN along with FNC, MSNBC, ABC News and CBS News have to be profitable in order to stay in business. But not at the expense of real journalism. And of course there’s a market for tabloid and other celebrity journalism. But those networks already exist and we already have a network that devotes its matinée programming to the American justice system. Actually we have several networks like True TV, the Criminal Investigation Network, Investigation Discovery and others.
And these are the cable networks that should be covering tabloid and celebrity news , everything awesome or whatever the hell they want to call it. BUt not a network that advertises itself as a news network. That use to be the gold standard at least when it came to cable news, but now is looking to find itself and figure out who they want to be after losing viewers to FNC and MSNBC. Time Warner the parent company of CNN already has a cable network that advertises itself as knowing drama. What’s the TNT tagline, “we know drama” and that would be the place for CNN to broadcast the Zimmerman trial and other celebrity news stories. And leave CNN to be the home of hard news in America at least as it relates to cable TV. Where people go to find out what’s going in the world that’s important.