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Your Opinion Counts At CNN — But Should It? 383

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-no-no-no-no dept.
theodp writes "Some people love how CNN employs Twitter to engage its audience. Not Steve Dahl. 'I am not interested in the take of @stinky on the Fort Hood shootings or any other current events,' complains Dahl of the access the media gives to Internet know-it-alls. 'I am watching CNN because I expect them to gather the news, not act as a clearinghouse for any bonehead with a computer, a cable modem and a half-baked opinion.'"
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Your Opinion Counts At CNN — But Should It?

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  • Yeah! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:22AM (#30072154)

    I am watching CNN because I expect them to gather the news, not act as a clearinghouse for any bonehead with a computer, a cable modem and a half-baked opinion

    Yeah! That is slashdot's job!!

    • Re:Yeah! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:31AM (#30072282)
      That's what I was thinking as I read the blurb.

      If I want solid information I head over to a site like PhysOrg. If I want to see what others are thinking I head to Slashdot.

      News services have become such an opinion mill that it's starting to make it hard to take them seriously. There is a time and place for people to banter on but I don't want it from a news outlet.

      I've seen far too many people around here armed with little more than a high school education think that they have a better understanding of the universe than engineers who are in the field. I know the public opinion on just about anything is 10 times worse. We already have a half a million forums for these people to spout their crap on. Do we really need another?
      • Re:Yeah! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by BrokenHalo (565198) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @11:36AM (#30073236)
        There is a time and place for people to banter on but I don't want it from a news outlet.

        I'm with you there. I don't know if this applies across the board, since I have neither the time nor inclination to read all the on-line newspapers (I only buy dead-tree papers when I need something to light a fire with), but I am getting a bit tired of endless screen-space devoted to the inarticulate musings of bored housewives and outraged rednecks. And newspapers aren't the only culprits. New Scientist [newscientist.com] used to be quite a useful aggregation for scientific journal content, but it's steadily turning into a soap-box.

        In the days of the print media, there was something of a class barrier where contributors were expected to know at least something about a subject before pontificating. This survived for a few years with the on-line versions, but now we are seeing a situation where on slow news days we also seem to be getting lumbered with the above-mentioned kind of rubbish presented in a more fleshed-out form as "real" articles under the masthead of formerly reputable newspapers. The Age [theage.com.au] is a good example of this. I think the editor changed a while ago, and for all the content is now worth, I often feel I might as well be reading Twitter.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by ravenshrike (808508)
          There was never a class barrier except for a journalism degree. The news has always been horribly wrong in some way for any particularly in depth topic, it's just that unless people are well acquainted with said topic, they never notice and take it as gospel.
      • Re:Yeah! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 12, 2009 @11:47AM (#30073410)
        I've seen far too many people around here armed with little more than a high school education think that they have a better understanding of the universe than engineers who are in the field.

        Yeah! Leave those discussion to those of us who have PhDs in Universal Engineering!
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        We already have a half a million forums for these people to spout their crap on. Do we really need another?

        Ah, but look how useful the musings of the masses [youtube.com] can be when big news happens [youtube.com] (yes, it's relevant to TFA, but in general you owe it to yourself to check out some of Mitchell and Webb's sketches if you haven't seen them before).

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        News services have become such an opinion mill that it's starting to make it hard to take them seriously. There is a time and place for people to banter on but I don't want it from a news outlet.

        Yeah! That's why I'll only watch Fox News!

  • Ironic Question (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MacroSlopp (1662147) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:23AM (#30072168)
    This question on a site like this seems incredibly ironic.
  • Comments (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:23AM (#30072172) Journal

    While I mostly love Slashdot for its comments and the talks between members, it just doesn't work everywhere. If I'm watching CNN from TV, I'm looking for intelligent, fact-checked news and opinions from professionals, not from some mommy who is twittering without understanding any of the issues behind specific things.

    • Re:Comments (Score:5, Insightful)

      by skgrey (1412883) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:30AM (#30072276)

      If I'm watching CNN from TV, I'm looking for intelligent, fact-checked news and opinions from professionals

      Yes, but unfortunately that's not what you are getting most of the time. CNN is better than most IMO, but what we tend to see is entertainment, not news. How many times do we see these channels making news rather than reporting the news? I'm so sick of seeing this kind of behavior.

      A great example was on Fox recently where they were asking people on the street what they thought of Sharon Osbourne's comments on Susan Boyle. Most people hadn't heard it, as it happened on an Sirius radio show, but Fox was constantly reporting on it. Then Fox tracked down Susan Boyle at the airport (at the same time as Entertainment Tonight and a few other programs) and asked her how she felt. This isn't reporting the news, this is making the news.

      News organizations should be held to reporting the news, being fair about what they are reporting, and being held to a standard. They are worried about ratings, and unfortunately that affects content.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I just saw this on NBC this morning, where they received a lot of comments about a girl who had a repetitive sneezing problem. The comments went like this:

        - wash out her nose with salt water
        - tell her to see a chiropractor to get rebalanced
        - make her jump rope and she'll stop
        - feed her lots of vitamin A, just short of an overdose!

        And so on. I came to the conclusion that most people are incredibly stupid, and I think NBC should have ignored these opinions, and covered something else instead, like why Obama

        • Re:Comments (Score:4, Informative)

          by Duradin (1261418) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @11:35AM (#30073218)

          It's not just the masses commenting on articles that are incredibly stupid, their (CNN) reporters and correspondents aren't much better (and their talking heads are nearly as bad).

          During the coverage of the Fort Hood shooting, they had a reporter saying:
          "He had two pistols, one a semi-automatic of a type favored by the narco gangs, so you know how deadly it is." No, I don't know how deadly it is. Other than being a semi-auto pistol I have no clue what brand let alone model he was talking about. He never mentioned the actual weapons.

    • Re:Comments (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Seumas (6865) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:34AM (#30072336)

      The only thing infusing the news with twitter comments and real time viewer feedback does for me on television is anger me by having the typical mouth-breathing idiot's opinion spewed from their trailer to the rest of the world on a massive broadcast when I'd rather just be getting news. I just want to know what events are right now. I don't need to hear @bootycakes (a real twitter name I saw on CNN once) have their uninformed opinion in 65 characters parroted by Don Lemon over live TV.

      CNN was the last news I bothered to watch on TV and I haven't even really watched that since just after the election. I'm a bit of a news-hound and a political junkie, but too much of this "ireport" and "udecide" and "twitter" and "facebook" and "call in and share your opinion" and "youtube the news" crap has kind of driven me away entirely. I'll just grab the headlines from google news and skip the commentary.

      • Re:Comments (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MartinSchou (1360093) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @11:23AM (#30073040)

        Go watch The Daily Shows [thedailyshow.com] with Jon Stewart. You'd be surprised just how well they actually cover the news in 20 minutes.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Jhon (241832)

          If you consider "The Daily Show" a news source and not purely entertainment... well, I doubt you'd understand what I was going to say next anyway.

          It's a modern "Not Necessarily The News".

          • Re:Comments (Score:5, Insightful)

            by ZekoMal (1404259) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:03PM (#30073612)

            Except by every means, The Daily Show covers more news than the typical mouth-breathing news casters, and does so in a funny way. They don't lie, make shit up, or spend thirty minutes covering Madonna's booger incident via twitter: they show news footage, give a quick 60 second real news blurb, then make a joke.

            Watch Fox News, the real Fox News and not their commentators, and then watch The Daily Show. Report back with which one gave you more information.

            • Re:Comments (Score:5, Interesting)

              by parcel (145162) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @01:00PM (#30074448)

              Except by every means, The Daily Show covers more news than the typical mouth-breathing news casters, and does so in a funny way. They don't lie, make shit up, or spend thirty minutes covering Madonna's booger incident via twitter: they show news footage, give a quick 60 second real news blurb, then make a joke.

              Totally agree. The Daily Show makes news entertaining. Fox makes entertaining news.

          • Re:Comments (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Areyoukiddingme (1289470) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @01:12PM (#30074656)

            Insightful? How soon we forget. There's an academic organization that rates the quality of news shows. The Daily Show ranks quite high.

            How do I know about it? This obscure little news aggregation website. You may have heard of it. It's called Slashdot.org.

            http://entertainment.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/10/04/2320219 [slashdot.org]

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by gabebear (251933)

            It's a modern "Not Necessarily The News".

            Not really, the modern "Not Necessarily The News" is The Onion News Network [theonion.com].

            Craig Ferguson seems like a better source of news than most "news" shows...

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by dkleinsc (563838)

            They've done studies on comparing those who watch The Daily Show with those who watch news on Fox, CNN, and NBC. Those who watch The Daily Show are better informed.

            The interesting thing is that they often tell a very serious story in a funny way. For example, Jason Jones was in Iran during the electoral turmoil, but was (in addition to covering the election) having lots of discussions with ordinary Iranians which were countering the whole "all Iranians hate America" propaganda. By contrasting the very reaso

      • Re:Comments (Score:5, Insightful)

        by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @11:51AM (#30073480)

        Pretty much. I always thought that the idiocy I saw on gaming forums in the 90s was harmless because it was contained in videogame forums. I mean, things as stupid as platform wars would go away once people would discuss serious things like the federal budget, right? The yahoos going "Nintendo 4eva!" would disappear, right?

        I'm pretty convinced now that I was wrong on that. The political discourse I'm seeing now uses the same terminology and rhetorical constructs as those used in the platform wars. It's all hot air, partisanship and arguing by putting others down. Using twitter comments on the air is worsening the discourse because it merely gives an official outlet to a lot of people who really have no clue, don't know they have no clue, and don't even care they have no clue. But they are now convinced that because they either got on the air or someone they agree with got on the air means that this is the same as Kissinger agreeing with them.

        I'm not saying that Twitter can't be used to send interesting comments. I'm saying, however, that Twitter is used by the media in the worst possible way right now: to further turn news into entertainment of the worst kind: reality TV.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by X_Bones (93097)
        I'll just grab the headlines from google news and skip the commentary.

        Then your opinions will be just as knee-jerk and uninformed as those of the people you're berating. The only difference is that you're keeping them to yourself instead of inflicting them on everyone else.

        It takes work to keep yourself informed, and since the news media is more interested in advertising revenue than informing the public, that work now has to be done by you (and me, and anyone else who wants to know more than the superf
    • Re:Comments (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gad_zuki! (70830) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:43AM (#30072462)

      Most web commenting is pretty ridiculous amateur-hour nonsense. Its housewives and teens giving us their "wisdom." Web forums have been politicized by partisans. Fringe nutters have turned everything into their own PR outlets.

      Slashdot is slightly better than the youtube/twitter rabble because its a site focused on technology (usually) and has a moderation system. A general news site with any sort of moderation? Madness. I can tolerate slashdot, metafilter, and most of reddit. Everything else is so terrible it makes you realize that crap like "OMG Ghost hunters is the REALZ" or "Vaccines cause autism!!!" is how a lot of people think and critical thinking and a little literacy are the exception, not the norm.

      Dahl is right. While the media needs a check agaisnt bias and poor reporting, I doubt these twitter comments are helping. Looks like they are just lowing the signal to noise ratio even more. I guess anything to help make Wolf Blitzer look smart. I guess Neil Postman has finally been proved right:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amusing_Ourselves_to_Death [wikipedia.org]

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by cashman73 (855518)
        The lack of critical thinking and overall intelligence these days is just astounding. And the news media knows this, and latches on to some of the most innane and minor things, blowing them up into ridiculous proportions. I was talking to a pre-med student at a fairly prestigious University on the east coast recently about Swine Flu. He told me that he doesn't intend to get a flu vaccine, because he saw this news report about a girl that got a vaccine and developed dystonia [youtube.com], causing her to not be able to wa
      • Re:Comments (Score:5, Funny)

        by Chelloveck (14643) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @11:18AM (#30072966) Homepage

        Most web commenting is pretty ridiculous amateur-hour nonsense. Its housewives and teens giving us their "wisdom." Web forums have been politicized by partisans. Fringe nutters have turned everything into their own PR outlets.

        What a typical left-wing liberal comment. The government lets people like you post freely to the internet, so how can we trust them to run our healthcare system? I guess that's what you get when you vote a socialist Muslim Kenyan national into the White House.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Eli Gottlieb (917758)

        How on God's Earth do you manage to tolerate "most of Reddit"?

    • by Improv (2467)

      Concur.

    • by MBCook (132727)

      If I'm watching [...] TV, I'm looking for intelligent, fact-checked news and opinions from professionals,

      I think I found your problem.

      CNN is in 4th place right now. They are desperate. Last month, they were not in the list of the 30 most watched cable channels for the first time.

      They're all terrible. Mostly it's simple facts: there isn't 2 hours of news most days, let alone 24. If you had really good reporters digging for weeks you could get some good content, but that would be really expensive. It's eas

    • by MiniMike (234881)

      If I'm watching CNN from TV, I'm looking for intelligent, fact-checked news and opinions from professionals,

      That's why I stopped watching CNN on TV. The news/fluff ratio is just above that on E!

    • by mbrod (19122)
      I can't believe we are seeing people on Slashdot post this about the Corporate News sites.

      They are not about facts, news or being intelligent. Did you see CNN's coverage of the balloon boy fiasco?

      The Corporate News is about entertainment, giving the viewers what they want to see and making money.
    • Re:Comments (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Chris Mattern (191822) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:29PM (#30073932)

      If I'm watching CNN from TV, I'm looking for intelligent, fact-checked news and opinions from professionals

      Wow. When you find any, let me know, will you?

  • Who's Steve Dahl (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:23AM (#30072178)

    and why should I care...?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Ground0 (63349)

      Long time Chicago DJ and part of the radio team that blew up part of the Chicago White Sox basefield to protest disco - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disco_Demolition [wikipedia.org]

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        He failed. Disco never died-out. It was replaced with freestyle, then dance-rap in the 90s, and now we have Rhianna and Lady Gaga creating songs that sound very similar to the old 70s stuff, just with better synthesizers.

    • by jdpars (1480913) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:29AM (#30072246)
      Some idiot with a computer and a cable modem.
      • by corbettw (214229)

        Oh man, makes me wish I hadn't posted above so I could mod you Insightful.

      • Re:Who's Steve Dahl (Score:4, Informative)

        by Lil'wombat (233322) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @11:25AM (#30073082)

        Close. Steve Dahl is a former #1 rated daytime talk radio host turned weekly columnist for the Chicago Tribune when his the balance of his contract was bought out and a non-compete in place during a radio format change. His contribution to history was the 1979 riot at Cominsky Park during a double header intermission. The riot occurred during the Disco Demolition entertainment event when a large pile of records (discounted admission if you brought a record) was exploded in center field.

        I think Steve Dahl would agree that your statement is only 2/3rds correct.

        a better statement

        A professional idiot with a Mac and a DSL

        • While on one hand, I agree that a bunch of tweets from random people are not all that interesting or newsworthy, I also have to say that Dahl's column reads an awful lot like the same old media elitism we've become used to. Only the opinions of professional journalists are wanted, the unwashed masses should just shut up. It was a lot nicer in the world of journalism when you could say any old stupid thing and not get called on it. Nowadays, if a journalist says something stupid, he can expect to have his as
  • mmmmmm (Score:2, Funny)

    by jaggeh (1485669)

    but half baked opions taste so good.

  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:25AM (#30072188) Homepage Journal
    I agree. News in America is dead. It turned into entertainment a long time ago. It isn't so much about news anymore as it is about yellow journalism or picking a station that validate one's political views. I stopped watching American news when I discovered BBC news.

    I would say that Edward R Murrow is rolling in his grave, but he was cremated.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by oldspewey (1303305)

      picking a station that validate one's political views

      This is pretty much the crux of it. People actively seek out the information sources (radio, TV, internet) that support the opinions they already hold. Accuracy of information and facts run a distant second, and meaningful analysis runs an even more distant third.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by cellurl (906920) *

      Agreed. I tell my 12 year old to question all news, and more importantly, to realize that "to yell is to sell", [fear that is]. I turned my TV off after the Nov election. I watch movies and foxnews.com. The only reason I choose Fox is because I don't like the lock CNN has in the airports. I travel every week and it isn't fair that I am forced to watch CNN. Hey slashdot, someone write a map app showing "quiet" spots in airports. Thats where I sit.

      Up to 30k [wikispeedia.org]

    • I agree BBC is better than anything we have, but its not perfect. Removing bias from news is difficult, but at least they try.
    • Three words (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SlashDotDotDot (1356809) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @11:29AM (#30073140) Journal
      N [npr.org] P [npr.org] R [npr.org]
  • A simple solution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bieeanda (961632) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:26AM (#30072214)
    Don't like it, don't read it. Christ, the only reason why I read user comments on CNN, or Amazon reviews, or anything else where the wisdom of the masses extrudes itself is an urge to rubberneck. It isn't as if they're touting these commentaries as fact-- it's just a poorly moderated scribble board, and it says so on the flap.
    • by vondo (303621) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:40AM (#30072410)

      CNN, not CNN.com. They put these comments on the air all the time. When they should be, you know, reporting the news. Or better yet, investigating the news.

      • by BobMcD (601576)

        Um...

        Don't like it, don't [watch] it.

        That wasn't really outside the scope of your imagination, now was it?

        As to what they 'should' be doing, that's for them and their advertisers to decide. Until they're the only game in town, I fail to see the conflict here.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Valdrax (32670)

          Gee, I guess that when you personally are no longer watching CNN, then its shoddy reporting and "advocacy journalism" like Lou Dobbs has no remaining effect on the voting public, and thus you should no longer have any right to complain about it!

          I bet you think that you strike a huge blow against a company when you boycott their products without any coordination with other potential buyers.

  • by greyhueofdoubt (1159527) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:27AM (#30072224) Homepage Journal

    How funny is that: A guy airing his opinion on a public medium about how other people's opinions shouldn't be aired on public media...

    We need a CNN story on this (complete with tweets) to bring things full circle.

    -b

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by asylumx (881307)
      The Chicago Tribune is a public medium? I'm pretty sure you can't just send them a column and expect them to print it, but let me know if you find otherwise.
  • CNN will do anything to boost ratings, even fake war coverage [youtube.com] Who would want to watch a news channel that puts corporate profit above journalistic integrity? These guys are right up there with faux news.
  • whoops (Score:5, Insightful)

    by metamechanical (545566) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:29AM (#30072244)

    I am watching CNN because I expect them to gather the news [...]

    Yeah, that's definitely where you went wrong.

  • This isn't a story, this is one cranky old guy being cranky because he 'did six hour shifts at Podunk in a small newspaper' and his opinion should count more than Joe SixPack with a Computer and a Modem (we've got cable and fiber these days dude!). Well, the point of the matter is that CNN and others who use the typed in opinions of others gets perhaps a chance to get a different perspective than that given by Cranky Chicago pundit who doesn't get to be the wise old pundit any longer. Shooting at Fort Hood
    • I agree with you in principle, the problem is that they are not POSTING just opinions from people who are relevantly related to the stories at hand. And isn't it the media's JOB to seek these people out and vet them and interview them properly? Call me old fashioned.
  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:40AM (#30072408) Homepage Journal

    I find it amusing that there's an opinion piece that's against opinion pieces. What's Dahl's claim to lipping off "you aren't allowed to lip off?"

    This was a gem (emphasis mine): "I was held accountable by management, listeners and, most important, advertisers."

    That's the ugly of a Dahl editorial and the beauty of a slashdot comment -- you can voice your opinion here without anybody threatening to fire you because you spoke out against the status quo.

    "When did public opinion merit the same amount of airtime as the actual story?"

    When we got the internet. It used to be that only the rich could use the freedom of the press, because you had to actually own a press to have freedom of it. Now we, the people, have freedom of the press, too. The rich and the corporatti don't like us unwashed masses having a voice one bit.

    • While I completely agree that the internet, as cranky as it makes me, is a tremendous boon for freedom of the press and a platform for those that wouldn't otherwise have access to one, some context for the bit you quoted is needed:

      Everybody is a know-it-all these days. I blame the Internet. I know a little bit about a lot of things, and I'm not afraid to step up to a microphone or keyboard and do a little "truth screaming." Audience reaction, specifically ratings, determined whether I was allowed to continu

  • pot kettle black (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kimvette (919543) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:41AM (#30072448) Homepage Journal

    The way I see it, Steve Dahl is nothing more than a bonehead with a DS-3 connection. What's the difference other than the number of readers and the username? Isn't Steve Dahl voicing his opinion? Isn't he just a person, and doesn't that mean you or I could post our opinions? What makes him so special?

    Sure, there are some brain-dead yokels on both sides of the spectrum. There are the idiots who worship trees and think that trees feel and believe the "global warming" er "global climate change" chant without asking for the evidence and the raw data (okay, I admit I'm a skeptic given the revelation of how temperature sensors are installed now vs. 40 years ago and what the guidelines dictate. Too many are installed over or next to heat sinks). Then, there are those on the right who pick and choose what to believe in Christianity, you know, pick the part about man having dominion over the earth but ignore the part about being good stewards, etc.

    Both extremes of the spectrum should be totally ignored. Use your brain people, moonbats and neo-cons alike! We each have the biological equivalent of a cluster of supercomputers in our head for a reason: to use it! THINK! However, that still doesn't mean every moron doesn't have the right to voice an opinion.

    That is just the reality of it when you open your news site up to comments. You're going to invite the whole spectrum, and the sad thing is both moonbats and neocons are equally stupid in equally loud ways, so their posts stand out.

    Including this post. ;)

  • I understand that 24 hours news sites need to fill a lot of air time or that news web sites would like something new for you to look at each time you refresh but not everyone wants to follow the news as it happens and sort it out themselves.

    Do you want to follow the balloon boy story, be fooled and then read about the sorted details as it unfolds... or maybe I just want to read about it a few days later wrapped (mostly) up.

    Do you want to read the entire stream of new articles on digg.com when they have 0 di

  • this will be marked redundant but I completely agree. I was under the (possibly naive) assumption that the job of the news was to inform the public, not to be informed by it.
  • Their remade web page now puts fluff pieces and human interest stories as the most prominent headlines and images. As I am typing this, the largest headline and photo on us.cnn.com is "Obese kids are coronary time bombs" while stories about the economy and Obama's position on Afghanistan are moved to a small sidebar. The most trusted name in news indeed.
  • When CNN started broadcasting twit feeds, it just confirmed that they were desperate to fill up air time with any kind of cheap content they could grab. Bad enough that they were giving air time to uninformed idiots, it was uninformed idiots with a 140 character attention span.

    I expect my news to bring me more information than I could get myself in the allotted time. When the attorney general (Canadian here) releases a report, reporters sequester themselves in a room for hours ahead of the press conference

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @10:58AM (#30072664)

    I remember my Dad Yelling at the TV for whenever those Darn Democrats did A n y t h i n g . And if the news covered too much positive that those darn Democrats did he would change the channel. Hence why like only watches Fox news now... However with CNN just posting the comments from other people it allows think their views have meaning and they may get 2 seconds of fame if they actually read them on the air. They will probably still stick to the station and watch it.

    Just like in the old Roman Days right before the collapse lets hide all the problems of the world and give them a good show. As long as they are kept entertained they wont revolt.

  • Seen the movie Network . . .?
    "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people." P.T. Barnum

    duh-duh-duh dat's all folks!!!!!!

  • It's a joke. Why the hell would I want to watch a TV newsperson read a web page or twitter feed? It's just dumb. Putting them in front of giant touch displays is also stupid. I don't want to watch someone operate a computer - actually put the damn graphic on the viewer's feed so we can see it straight on without some blow-dried suited idiot in front of it.

  • CNN seems to have this "child-like wonder" with tech at the moment.

    I was somewhat sickened during the recent unrest in Myanmar, because CNN, rather than focus on the actual issue, seemed more obsessed with extolling the virtues of mobile phones and remote Twittering.

    That and Christiane Amanpour coaxing people around the world to say "bloody murder" on camera in the name of investigative journalism, which reminded me of the Southpark episode where they used the word "shit" 162 times (complete with counter at

  • only those which are well-formed should be shown in public.

    William

  • I think around the time CNN saw Fox staking out the conservative-centric news angles, and MSNBC staking out the liberal-centric news angles they knew they were somewhat screwed. In at attempt to differentiate themselves they embraced the "let the people own it" mantra and started up all the tweeting crap and the iReporter stuff.

    They're trying to find a niche, and not doing a good job of it if you go by the ratings. Unfortunately they have been the closest left to a "neutral" cable news channel. If they g

  • Bad Expectation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dotren (1449427) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @11:15AM (#30072906)

    I am watching CNN because I expect them to gather the news

    That is his first problem right there. They don't gather news, they gather entertainment and they present that entertainment with whatever spin they feel will best cause the effect they're looking for whether that be sympathy, outrage, shock, etc.

    Don't get me wrong either, I'm not saying CNN is the only one like this and this isn't a political viewpoint where I'm categorizing news media into good, bad, left, or right. I'm saying all "news" programs are like this and have been this way for a while.

    As for the public interaction via Twitter I don't see how that is a bad thing. In fact I think its a great way for them to keep in contact with their audience, live, and get the pulse of the public. I think it's great that someone at CNN is at least making an attempt at keeping up with some current technology trends and have found a way to use it as a possibly useful communication tool.

  • by tmk (712144) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @11:27AM (#30073112)
    The real problem: CNN has no real interest in facts anymore. interview the extremists on every side and leave it there.

    Jon Steward has something to say about the problem [thedailyshow.com]
  • Opinion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by endianx (1006895) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @11:34AM (#30073208)
    I find CNN (and other "news" stations) too often use the internet as a way to inject opinions that they don't want to state themselves because it would make them look bias. For example, you read three message from intelligent people who are in favor of government health care, and one from some moron who is opposed. The message is that the majority of people are in favor and the few who aren't are morons. However, the anchors themselves didn't say anything. They were just giving viewer comments. It is a way to inject opinion in to the segments that are officially reserved for news.
  • by lymond01 (314120) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:14PM (#30073738)

    I often wonder if the news was ever any better. I read recently in, I think, Time magazine an article about newspapers from the 1920s. They would also back candidates and bad mouth the opponents, take political sides when reporting stories (and which stories to report), etc. Nothing has changed there. I don't imagine papers weren't "making news" back in the day either -- it's hardly a novel idea. They need to sell papers and, just like Slashdot, there are slow news days. So you go and interview a politician or police captain or waitress and you hope that something more interesting comes out of it. If not, you have a nice "people" piece. But there wasn't any news until you started asking.

    With the Internet news, it's likely not any different, it's just faster. 24 hour news can't possibly generate enough facts to keep people going, so even the "famous" journalists like Anderson Cooper are left with filling in the gap with their faces and open mouths. "Gosh, I remember when I was sick with the flu. I coughed and coughed. Really hurt. Really hurt my ribs when I coughed like that. With the flu. So...uh...so you don't want it. The flu. Or to cough."

    I read Time magazine (paper edition) because they usually have one or two long, decently-researched articles (thrown in between what are essentially headlines for the rest of the "news" and some opinion pieces). Anything online is essentially under-researched nonsense -- I'd rather see constant updates, then, after a week, see a full write-up on the situation with sources, quotes, facts, etc. Let me know what's going on, as you hear it, but give me the NEWS at some point instead of just a bunch of repeated text.

  • by uarch (637449) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @12:50PM (#30074270)

    What makes the know-it-alls and bone-heads that work in the news any better than know-it-alls and bone-heads who don't?

    Most media people you see day-to-day have the mistaken impression that they actually know WTF they're talking about. Unfortunately, they don't.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by plasmacutter (901737)

      What makes the know-it-alls and bone-heads that work in the news any better than know-it-alls and bone-heads who don't?

      Most media people you see day-to-day have the mistaken impression that they actually know WTF they're talking about. Unfortunately, they don't.

      Those know-it-alls and bone-heads have research teams backing them up.. oh wait a minute they fired those guys and either regugitate press releases or just make crap up.. carry on!

An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it. -- James Michener, "Space"

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