Having watched CNN International’s broadcast channel while overseas, I’m even more appalled by the US version of the channel and the website. Just think of the total lack of “newsiness” there are with the following top stories on CNN.com right now:
- Driver plows through street festival at high speed
- Organizers G8 protest condemn violence
- Officials: Terror plot targeted JFK airport
- Castro stands, talks with Vietnamese official on TV
- SI.com: Cavs finish off Pistons, make first finals
- Report: Six militants killed in Somalia
- Larry Birkhead sues attorney in baby fight
- War front-and-center ahead of debates
- Agent’s good looks help net butterfly smuggler
- Only girl’s foot shows after oak falls on house
- Democracy stuns Polish man 19 years in coma
- Baseball manager rants, crawls, plays in dirt
Admittedly, when I imagine what is truly news-worthy, I rank stories by their potential impact from a regional, national and international level. A top story about a driver crashing in to a street festival is sad, but basically local news. What’s the impact, the larger importantance, of a car crash in D.C.?
The G8 protests, Castro’s TV appearance, a terror plot, the presidential debates, and militants killed in Somalia, all have a potential news-worthiness value, if the stories are given context and aren’t just the usual CNN dumbed-down smut product that is put out. Same thing is true for the Polish man who wakes from a coma, if the author of the article uses it to discuss the evolution of Eastern Europe from Communism to democracy and capitalism. Unfortunately, this kind of journalism seems to be far more than CNN, at least for their domestic audience, can handle.
Or take the G8 protests. What are these groups that became violent? What are their objectives, what goals do they have? What about the actual G8 summit? What discussions are taking place? What kind of outcomes are to be expected? What have been the objectives and participation in past summits? Have the desired results been realized from those summits? If so, why? If not, why not?
Unfortunately, the kind of news programming I’m looking for is becoming rarer, not more common. When John Stewart offers the most in-depth discussion on some of these topics, you know you’re SOL.