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Altering News Norms--the Influence Of Cnn (1)

By Author: Arsenalo
Total Articles: 116

Before the advent of CNN, if you or I wanted to learn what had happened in the world on a given day, we would either have to locate an all-news radio station or wait until early evening to tune in to a network news broadcast. People interested in world affairs adjusted their time to that of the networks. Meals and social activities were scheduled around network news time. The availability of 24-hour-a-day news changed all that. News is now available at our convenience.

The sheer quantity of news coverage dictated some other changes in the ways in which CNN news was programmed. Instead of a single "star" anchor, CNN developed a cast of anchors; focus on the personality of the anchor decreased. A second difference in patterns of anchoring and reporting emerged. Women and minorities were more likely to appear in those Breitling Replica roles on CNN than on the other networks. This pluralization of the news also was reflected in the use of tape and reporters from around the world.

By broadcasting around the clock, CNN ensured that without disrupting "commercial" programming, it could "go live." At 2:32 P.M. EST, CNN led the other networks by four minutes with the report that shots had been fired at President Ronald Reagan. Moreover, it could stay on the air with a live report as long as the news producer wished. CNN, for example, aired twenty-nine straight hours of coverage on the attempted assassination, Hinckley's motives, and Reagan's progress.

Live coverage makes us more aware of the extent to which most broadcast news is packaged by the conventions of editing discussed earlier. In the twenty-nine hours of CNN coverage of the assassination attempt, "CNN's viewers got the story in the jumbled way that a journalist receives fragments of information before transforming them into an orderly, polished report. The 'process' of gathering news determined the form in which the news was delivered. With CNN's unlimited time, the story could unfold at its own pace.

As the tanks moved in on the demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, the CNN reporters could no longer sustain the calm, controlled tone that ordinarily characterizes edited news. Neither we nor they could be certain what was happening. CNN audiences around the world were encircled Replica Breitling by the tensions and tragedies of the moment. Those who received their information in the 2-minute, predigested packages of edited news could not experience this story in the same way.

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