CNN Shits

What a hoot.

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Sherrod Coverage

So by now we all know the story behind Shirley Sherrod and her resignation.  We also know that many sides as presented in news stories, blogs and by Sherrod herself.  I understand that this a controversial issue and that people that are passionate on either side of the debate should push for justice.  However, traditional “unbiased” new sources should not be advocates.  They shouldn’t be reporting and harping, in essence, on the same event.  The only time that this is acceptable is when there is new information.  However, during the course of this controversy, new information or not, they must report.  Good grief.  CNN has done a pretty good job, allowing Sherrod and others to speak on the issue.  Fox News, however, is terrible.  Why bother bringing anyone on to your program with a different opinion or point of view if you plan to attack them?  What a mess.  However, I did enjoy that Sherrod declined Megyn Kelly’s offer.  What a hoot!!  And Kelly was so gracious too.

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CNN Drops AP

CNN finally dropped the AP! I think we all saw this coming in 2009 when CNN Radio and CNN.com both dropped all AP content.  Also, the beginning of CNN Wire also signaled the end of the relationship between these news organizations.  I’m excited to see what CNN does with its wire service and if they step up to the plate.  I

have nothing against the AP…honestly.  While their writing is a little dry, they do provide valuable stories to news organizations.  When a newspaper needs to fill space in an edition or a story needs to be covered, but there are not enough writers, the AP is there.  However, I do think CNN is taking a proactive step in improving their services and merchandising on their writing and reporting.  The AP has made a huge impact on news today and I can’t wait to see if CNN does the same.

Check out the memo to CNN Staff from CNN Worldwide Chief Jim Walton.

We are taking an important next step in the content-ownership process we began in 2007 to more fully leverage CNN’s global newsgathering investments. Starting today, CNN newsgathering will be the primary source of all content for all of our platforms and services. We will no longer use AP materials or services. The content we offer will be distinctive, compelling and, I am proud to say, our own.

Beyond the obvious business reasons for this operating shift-the content we spend our money to create should be the content we present, and less reliance on outside sources will mean more to invest in our organization-there are other important motivations. CNN-exclusive content will further differentiate our platforms in the media marketplace. It will provide consumers with the unique news and information experience they expect from CNN. And it will make us more creative, resourceful and collaborative journalists and news professionals.

To support this new model, we are expanding the CNN Wires team and embedding positions with desks and bureaus to speed information to air. Among continuing infrastructure improvements to further our distinctive storytelling, we’re launching CNN Share to aggregate editorial content and facilitate easy distribution and sharing across platforms; launching a new alert system for breaking news; creating newsgathering opportunities across all dayparts; and building tools to expand information gathering from social media and emerging sources.

Our global broadcast affiliates will be key partners in this effort. Creating more original content will enhance our service to them and build stronger working relationships going forward. Additionally, we are entering into an arrangement with Reuters to supplement breaking news coverage and we have the Spanish-language wire service EFE available in-house.

This effort is the result of creative thinking, partnership and hard work by colleagues from across CNN guided by the same goal: to further strengthen CNN’s leadership position and grow our business. I am grateful to them for bringing us to this point, and to each of you for taking it from here. By embracing this new way of working, we are demonstrating our commitment to the future of CNN.

And of course the AP covered this story as well–both humorous and admirable.

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Media Cloud

The Berkman Center for Internet & Societ at Harvard launched a new system/application in March that follows media trends.  Media Cloud takes articles–each day–from an astounding amount of news media and blogs and stores the information in a database.  Users can then visit the Media Cloud website and chart this data.  While this is not a finished product, it is an interesting and innovative way to study media.  Journalists, communication researchers, news enthusiasts and average Joes are able to explore media trends easily without having to actually gather the data.  The Berkman Center has done this for us, taking out a time-consumng step and allowing us to focus on the content.  This is valuable because we can, in turn, improve the quality of journalism.  Hopefully, ethics committees and news media will utilize Media Cloud to optimize journalism.

I encourage you to check out Media Cloud yourself, but below is some interesting information.

TOP 3 TOPICS

CNN:  United States, Washington, California

Fox News:  New York, Florida, Texas

MSNBC:  Afghanistan, Taliban, Mexico

The New York Times:  United States, Washington, California

The Washington Post:  Virginia, United States, New York

The Wall Street Journal:  New York, China, Washington

I find it interesting that CNN and The New York Times (both considerably left-sided) had identical Top 3.

Moving Past the BP Oil Spill

Not to downplay the importance of the BP oil spill, but I am getting a slightly irritated with the constant headlines about the tragedy in the Gulf.  It is a little frustrating, but I do understand the importance.  So let’s try to focus on what possible postive effects may come out of this disaster.  It may create an urgency in the American people and the government to explore cleaner energy sources.  If you have some time check out this article by CNN.  It brings up some interesting talking points and ideas.

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Bias in journalism

“The Most Trusted Name is News”

“Fair and Balanced”

Can we believe these tag lines and the many others speaking to the credibility of a news organization?

Most of us realize that in journalism, as in life, bias is our foe.  Bias clouds judgment and challenges the integrity of writing.  But with that said, bias is difficult to avoid, it is part of our human nature.  Therefore, as readers we must look beyond the right-wing and left-wing agendas presented in the news and do some exploring of our own.  We must learn when to delve deeper into the writings or videos that we are given and we must also learn when to take this information with a grain of salt.  My goal is to help open your eyes to the bias in modern news and media so you too can explore this further.  I urge you to read and understand the negative influence bias has on our world views.

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