Sunday, May 5, 2013

CNN and its Boston Backdrop

CNN stands for Cable News Network. When Ted Turner started it way back in 1980, it was amazing and new. Reporters went everywhere and covered all the major stories, providing such thorough coverage that military operations adjusted to allow for its presence. It was unique and it was the only 24-7 news source. It could be replied upon. How things change.

By now, most people are aware of the reporting errors made by CNN, Fox and several others. That was bothersome for sure but it has been addressed and assessed extensively. What troubles me in addition to its inaccuracies is that CNN remained in Boston well after all the other networks had pulled out. It was as if they had nowhere else to go.  The network used Boston and Watertown as backdrops for their anchors for an extra week.  Why? What was the network communicating to its viewers by staying so long?

I can think of only one thing - CNN wanted to milk the bombing story for all it was worth.  Never mind that there was little additional news to report. Never mind that the viewers had seen all the footage hundreds of times before. Never mind that the constant repetition might have been hard on the local citizens and the victims. Boston in the background meant money in the bank.

I don't blame the anchors. They were working where their producers and editors put them. It just seems to me that someone should have figured out that enough was enough.

I know CNN got a ratings bump during the event. I also know that our household was surprised and disappointed by CNN's staying in the area so long. Add that to the inaccuracies and we decided to get our news elsewhere in the future.

There is news and then there is salaciousness. Apparently CNN can't tell the difference anymore. How sad for it and for all of us - especially at this time when accurate and timely communication is so important.

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