An Examination of CNN

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In watching CNN for a period of 1 hour, the news that was reported on was national - specifically the mystery of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 and the recent headlines surrounding that story. The program was hosted by Don Lemon and he had several guests who spoke on the news that has emerged on the story. While speaking on the story, there were intense visuals - one being footage of planes circling the area; another being maps of the area where investigators believe the plane crashed and the third was images of the families in anguish about the potential crash. During the entire hour of coverage, there was no mention of local or regional news. The coverage of the Malaysia Airlines on CNN was thorough and no media bias was present, unlike stories with a political component.

The experts gave their respective opinions on what has been discovered thus far. The specific discussion focused on the breaking news surrounding the pings that the Chinese authorities apparently heard in the southern Indian Ocean and the subsequent press conference that the Australians gave to the media in an effort to clarify what had actually been found and where the search is headed in the coming days. The broadcast of the Malaysia Airlines story has been consistently objective and subjective with the pundits and aviation experts providing in-depth analysis on what they believe actually occurred. Given this story is one of the most mysterious in history, there is reason to believe that CNN is being cautious in what it is projecting as far as the news. When opinions are provided, each individual is speculating and specifically states that they are speculating. Therefore, it puts the overall discussion in context and does not open themselves up to be targeted as being overly subjective. Additionally, Don Lemon did a superb job of moderating the hour by allowing each expert/pundit to speak and answer the questions he had and ones that individuals on social media had.

Regarding the website with respect to the Malaysia Airlines story, there appears to be a considerable amount of information on the subject as well. While online news does not offer the same minute by minute analysis that broadcast news can, CNN does keep their online viewers up to date as much as possible. The current aspect of the Malaysia Airlines story on their website is in sync with what Don Lemmon's television broadcast carried. There is however, no specific analysis from experts just a regurgitation of the facts and tidbits from analysts in the news stories themselves. From that perspective, the television broadcast (cable) can be considered better than the website for this story, in particular. In terms of the aesthetics on the website, there are video clips of the press conferences that have taken place in each of the articles about the Malaysia Airlines crash. From that aspect, the website is aligned with the broadcast. It is difficult to ascertain whether the online news is more objective or subjective than the broadcast version of CNN.

One article in particular by Alamsy & Sam (2014) did not inject any opinion into their thoughts on the overall story suggesting that they took a more objective view - or rather were asked as such by CNN (1). CNN has always projected itself as a neutral territory when it comes to news so the fact that the article on the website did not have any kind of subjective interpretation of the story was unsurprising. Broadcast news tends to allow for more of an opinionated aspect, which explains why the Don Lemon broadcast had a variety of experts/pundits speaking on the story and offering their analysis on what occurred. It is important for news organizations such as CNN to depict news stories – good or bad – in an objective fashion unless the particular show and/or writer of the article on the website has a column where they exhibit their opinions on the matter. In doing this, news organizations garner a reputation for being factual and objective especially when they have to cover stories such as the Malaysia Airlines mystery.

Works Cited

Alamsy, Steve, and Ivy Sam. "Malaysia Flight 370: Searchers race to try to trace sounds detected in ocean." CNN, 6 Apr. 2014. Web. 6 Apr. 2014. <http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/06/world/asia/malaysia-airlines-plane/>.

Lemon, Don. Broadcast Show. 4-5 Apr. 2014.