Contrasting Between CNN’s Social Mediums

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In comparing the use of medium between CNN's television channel and CNN's website, it is most discernible firstly to understand that CNN's use of aesthetic and approach towards presentation is evenly distributed and easily recognizable. Though the two mediums differ in that the website is both user-friendly and interactive whilst the television channel is streamlined towards a broader viewer base, CNN is able to distinguish itself through these mediums by providing a professional and trustworthy news experience. The CNN website boasts its iconic red and white logo and streamers, while emphasizing various facets of news according to both relevance and significance.

Apart from utilizing the user-interface as its main focal point, such as the search bar in the top right corner and the hashtag-inspired CNN Trends, which features most linked topics, the website shares mostly the same information as the television channel. There are several sections of the website designed to guide the user towards different parameters of news on the top menu labeled, "US, WORLD, POLITICS, JUSTICE, ENTERTAINMENT," and so forth. In this light, the website and the television channel are vastly similar in that their news articles and feature stories are exactly the same and share equal user attention spans. This is best noticed in how the top stories on the website feature a larger picture that takes more space on the homepage similarly to how a breaking segment on the television channel is more likely to garner more screen time.

However, the main difference of scope between the two mediums is that the CNN television channel seems to cover more broad news stories ranging from significant small city events, nationwide news, and international affairs, conflicts and war, while the CNN website not only covers the news segments aired on the channel, but features an area where a user sign-in permits an area especially catered to the user's zip code, which features such local amenities as weather forecast and important local happenings. Though the depth and completeness of the news mainly hinges around the significance of the story, an example of a shared segment on the television channel and the website, "Three soldiers slain at Fort Hood identified," recalls that the website supplies the user with an abridged version of the aired video on the television channel, alongside a thorough recap of the news event and relevant and similar news within a sidebar. This interactive feature garnishes the user with the ability to take notes about the story as desired, print the story, share the story via social media websites and email, and further research the topic as desired. In this light, CNN's website is prone to a more subjective approach to presenting the user with customized content whilst the CNN television channel aims in a more objective approach to best suit a wider audience.

Due to the fact that many stories circulate on several news circuits, the primary emphasis of a breaking news article, whether on the website or the television channel, seems to follow a media-based storyline, in which, as per the example of the missing Malaysian airline, the onset of a major news article introduces the known facts at hand subsequently followed by further development of the story. New viewers, then, may experience the inability to quickly ascertain all the known facts as the most relevant and primary news articles follow this trend of developing the story beyond the basic introductory facts. However, given that the CNN website adheres to an individualistic user experience, features as the article and video sidebar better caters to rehashing any information that the viewer may have missed during the development. In a similar fashion, the pacing of the news on the CNN television channel seems more brisk and all-encompassing as there is a definite time constraint between the airing of other programs.

Furthermore, viewers are entitled to the notion that the news is a one-stop hub that can only be developed in the following time slot of the given program. In contrast, the pacing of the CNN website differs in that the information presented in the articles and the videos can be absorbed as per the user's preferences. Finally, the extent to which the aesthetic contributes to both the CNN website and television channel primarily seems to act as a layer of unperturbed professionalism, in that it is less likely to distract from the main news segment--the CNN logo and color schemes branch out across both mediums, demonstrating unity between the two, and serve to remind the viewer that the content is familiar and thusly, trusted. The use of graphics in both mediums is fairly heavy, in that there is a constant stream of stock tickers, different news headlines, and other less important facts lining the borders of the television screen and the computer monitor at all times. This may serve to frame the main news segment whilst attempting to portray the importance of other news that could not be attended to at the time; but mostly, it denotes the idea that the main news article is at the forefront of the user's attention.

Though the CNN anchors on the television channel conform to a strict uniform of professional attire, the lack of anchors and set design of the pulpit on the website brings to light more attention towards the news segment. Other facets of graphics and aesthetic values spanning both the website and the television channel primarily seems to be a reminder of the CNN institution, in that the color schemes, sound effects, and the highly produced moving graphics and logo are mere manifestations of the company's branding.

As such, in comparing the two mediums, I can conclude that the most relevant and impactful source of news stems from the CNN website as opposed to the CNN television channel for reasons being that I was more likely to become engrossed in the full details of the event with additional segues into other contributory articles and videos, and less likely to become distracted by the constant moving graphics and anchor narration of the television channel.

Works Cited

1. CNN. CNN, April 1, 2014. Web. 1 April 2014. Web. <www.cnn.com>

2. CNN Newsroom. CNN, April 1, 2014. 2014. TV.