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CNN Now Offers Free Online Video 372

Drinian writes "It seems that CNN is now offering its video FREE to the public. Apparently, this is a response to pressure from FOX News who has always offered free video. Is this another nail in the coffin of paid content on the internet?"
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CNN Now Offers Free Online Video

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  • Apparently, this is a response to pressure from FOX News who has always offered free video.

    Well, first of all, it's nice to see that Fox 'News' is actually good for something...

    Although 'free' might be an exaggeration, as you do have to pay for the video by sitting through an obligatory advertisment before you get to the good stuff...but that's OK...the part of my brain that processes commercials is just a big knot of scar tissue anymore. Anyway, you're on your computer, so you can use that time to do

  • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:01PM (#12882654)
    ...to win viewers/readers from FOX News. There's a Newsweek piece [msn.com] about it this week.

    [CNN president Jonathan] Klein is making revolutionary changes at the cable network--scrapping signature broadcasts like "Crossfire" and "Inside Politics," shaking up his morning-show ensemble and his prime-time producing staff, and creating a new international news show at noon. These are only the first steps in a broad overhaul plan aimed at getting the pioneering and once dominant cable news network out of a seemingly perennial second-place finish, far behind Fox News.

    And before anyone complains, you may be interested in at least considering:

    http://www.polisci.ucla.edu/faculty/groseclose/Med ia.Bias.8.htm [ucla.edu]

    which finds, in part

    Our results show a very significant liberal bias. All of the news outlets except Fox News Special Report received a score to the left of the average member of Congress. Moreover, by one of our measures all but three of these media outlets (Special Report, the Drudge Report, and ABCs World News Tonight) were closer to the average Democrat in Congress than to the median member of the House of Representatives. One of our measures found that the Drudge Report is the most centrist of all media outlets in our sample. Our other measure found that Fox News Special Report is the most centrist.


    Based on sentences as the level of observation (the results of which are listed in Table 8), the Drudge Report is the most centrist, Fox News Special Report is second, ABC World News Tonight is third, and CBS Evening is last.

    Given that the conventional wisdom is that the Drudge Report and Fox News are conservative news outlets, this ordering might be surprising. Perhaps more surprising is the degree to which the mainstream press is liberal. The results of Table 8 show that the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, USA Today, and CBS Evening News are not only liberal, they are closer to the average Democrat in Congress (who has a score of 74.1) than they are to the median of the whole House (who has a score of 39.0). [...] the New York Times is twice as far from the center as Fox News Special Report, to gain a balanced perspective, one would need to spend twice as much time watching Special Report as he or she spends reading the New York Times. [...] Our results contrast strongly with the prior expectations of many others. It is easy to find quotes from prominent journalists and academics who claim that there is no systematic bias among media outlets in the U.S. [...] The main conclusion of our paper is that our results simply reject such claims.

    Please note:

    These findings refer strictly to the news stories of the outlets. That is, we omitted editorials, book reviews, and letters to the editor from our sample. (emphasis mine)

    It makes me sad when people can't tell the difference between NEWS and OP-ED. Do people also have that same problem with the editorial page of the New York Times? Or just, say, Sean Hannity on FOX News? Is it acceptable to judge the news gathering and reporting capability of the Times by exclusively evaluating the content of its opinion page?

    Further, one of the prime measures this report uses is the scoring for members of Congress by Americans for Democratic Action [adaction.org] (ADA), the self-described "nation's oldest liberal lobbying group".

    Now, some might say that comparing news to members of Congress, be they Democrats or Republicans, isn't an effective measure (especially if you believe there is virtually no real difference between today's politicians). But at least take time to consider the report.

    Various FOX News "watchdog" groups are a dizzying array of alleged inaccuracies in FOX News opinion and editorial shows, with almost nothing in actual N
    • by Anonymous Coward
      ...look, the precise complaints against Fox are that they leak in opinion to their so called "hard news" - their main anchor is pretty obvious in his political affiliation, the balance of pundits and opinions is also pretty obvious, and the few suposed "liberals" present (Alan Colmes) are essentially straw men. Compound this with their sensationalistic aspect (really scarier than any partisan bickering), and you'll see why so many people criticize Fox News.

      I'm sorry, but your post amounts to little more t
      • .look, the precise complaints against Fox are that they leak in opinion to their so called "hard news" - their main anchor is pretty obvious in his political affiliation, the balance of pundits and opinions is also pretty obvious

        Wouldn't you prefer that the biases of their anchors and the rest ARE obvious? It's easier for you to weigh what they're saying, and which stories they choose to cover, and which they ignore...if you know which way their political allegiance slants, and how far.
    • Americans have such a twisted & skewed idea of what being 'liberal' means, or even 'leftist.' Your average democrat in congress supports big business, tax breaks for them as well (look at the voting record.) Big military (check the voting record again.) And will do whatever they can to stop any form socialized healthcare (think back to hillary's little action committee & the all the democrats that lambasted her for even suggesting health care be nationalized.)... That's your average american democrat.. and that's what you call a 'liberal' .. To me, it's all Very right, Right.. slightly right and then Kucinich.
      • So, by that token, with Fox News being centrist according to the studies, they really are rather rightist?

        Note you need to take a world political view, not just American one for this to work.
      • Americans also have a skewed idea of what it means to be 'right wing'. Your average 'right wing' European is for walling up the nations borders and uses near facist rhetoric when talking about cultural integrity and when speaking against immigration.

        The US is a place of centrist. The European left and right and miles left and right (resepctivly) of American left and right. Paralmentary systems naturally tend to bring in people from a very large spectrum, both left and right. The American system on the
      • by Uruk ( 4907 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:31PM (#12882998)
        Some people say that the "conservative" party members in European politics would have no chance in American politics, because they would be considered lunatic leftists with a fringe agenda that no American would dare back. In other words, the conservative European politicians are to the left of the American democrats.

        That's just the difference between third-way european quasi-socialism and American quasi-capitalism. One of the underlying differences in cultural assumption is that Americans tend to think of the government as primarily something that's there to preserve their personal freedom and economic freedom, while Europeans might feel that the government is primarily something to look out for the welfare of the people. These are goals that are sometimes contradictory, such as when you ask the question, "should health care be open for competition, with maximum options for the patient, or should it be a state-provided service guaranteeing full access to everyone?"

        I'm not sure there's a better solution here, but there's no denying the major differences between the two systems.

      • A "conservative" is someone who worships dead liberals.
    • by aftk2 ( 556992 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:18PM (#12882853) Homepage Journal
      One might assume that, if your network's name contains the word "News," you'd hold all your broadcasts accountable to the same level of accuracy and minimization of bias.
    • by geoffrobinson ( 109879 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:23PM (#12882901) Homepage
      This isn't news to those who have actually watched the darn channel. Gretta Van whatever, Geraldo, Juan Williams, Gen. Wesley Clark appear on Fox News all the time. It's just that they are to the right of most liberal media outlets. And some far-out leftists view liberal media outlets conservative because they aren't socialists.
    • by harks ( 534599 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:24PM (#12882917)
      So the media has a liberal bias because it is more liberal than the average member of Congress. Does anyone else see the problem with this basis for comparison?
    • "[CNN president Jonathan] Klein is making revolutionary changes at the cable network--scrapping signature broadcasts like "Crossfire" and "Inside Politics," shaking up his morning-show ensemble and his prime-time producing staff..."

      One thing they need to look at...Fox News has by far, the best looking news chicks!! Good grief...they are easy on the eyes. Juliet Huddy makes it fun to watch the weekend morning news...Laurie Dhue, Kiran Chetry....etc. Hell, even Greta got a face lift when she came to Fox fro

      • You apparently aren't aware of the long list of CNN female news anchors. These are just off the top of my head:

        Robin Meade [cnn.com]
        Christi Paul [cnn.com]
        Veronica De La Cruz [cnn.com]
        Heidi Collins [cnn.com]
        Betty Nguyen [cnn.com]
        Sibila Vargas [cnn.com]
        Kyra Phillips [cnn.com]
        I would have liked to have included Sumi Das but I can't find a decent picture of her.

        • Hmm...well, the first two, Robin and Christi are pretty nice....although from the linked pic, Robin looks like she might be a bit 'chunky'. I think Veronica and Heidi are not that great. Heidi is kind of an ugly Pipi Longstockings looker with short hair?

          Betty was pretty nice as well as Sibila, but, Kyra is butt ugly IMHO.

          I know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder...but, some of these examples just aren't that great. On Fox...honestly, I only see like 2-3 chicks on there that are fugly...the rest are e

          • Yeah, the pics aren't the best. Robin looks much better on tv as does Heidi. Veronica, well, she's asian (yes, despite the name) and I have a thing for asians.

            Betty is abslutely outstanding on tv. Again the picture doesn't do her justice.

            Sometime take a stop by CNN in the early morning (around 6 am EST, -5 GMT) and you'll see Robin or Christi. Betty is on on the weekends as is Veronica. Heidi they keep moving around. Sometimes in the morning hours when I'm at work, other times at night. Sometimes e
    • (Have any of these people ever watched a non-op-ed, i.e., NOT Bill O'Reilly, Hannity and Colmes, etc., hard news show on FOX News, which consumes the majority of the news day from 8am until 7pm?)

      You have to be kidding. From someone who once thought Fox was somewhat refreshing - before they went over the deep end at the start of the Iraq War:

      Take the morning show Fox and Friends with the two male dorks and the obligatory blonde. Hard to believe but they are more revolting than O'Reilly. I don't know

    • by uradu ( 10768 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:42PM (#12883101)
      When the news headline reads "Two weeks till President Bush is reelected", they fail to be a news channel. Out with the pom-poms and kick those legs!
    • by stonedown ( 44508 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:45PM (#12883130) Homepage
      That study is flawed. Their methodology determined that the ACLU is a right-leaning organization! (WTF?!)

      Here is a long detailed article debunking the Tim Groseclose study [eriposte.com], which has apparently never been peer-reviewed, yet another reason to ignore it.

      The methodology used by the authors for assessing media ideology is completely untenable. There are three principal reasons for this:

      (a) The approach G-M use establishes media ideology indirectly, by using the media's think-tank citations and comparing those to think-tank citations by legislators in order to find the legislator whose citations are the closest match. Thus, if a legislator is liberal and the media's think-tank citations match that of the liberal legislator, they would declare the media to be liberal. Momentarily setting aside the fact that this definition of media bias is itself incorrect, their claim would make sense only if it can be independently proven that the think-tanks cited by the liberal legislator are actually liberal. Their study does not prove this at all, considering that their methodology to establish think-tank ideology is itself deficient. Thus, at a fundamental level, their entire conclusion on media bias breaks down. (NOTE: It is not at all implausible that left-leaning legislators may cite more centrist think-tanks in public than progressive/liberal ones, especially considering how the liberal advocacy groups and think-tanks are tarred negatively by the GOP in the illiberal conservative media).

      (b) The use of weighted-average ADA scores (for the House and the Senate) is slightly more meaningful than the Median (which they used in the original version of their paper), but even this is completely deficient and incorrect because the ideological center is set not using an independent, objective measure of ideology but based on the (political) positions of the people in Congress at a given point in time. Thus, their model simultaneously assumes that ADA scores can provide an absolute picture of a legislator's ideology but that media and think-tank ideology should be determined not using the same absolute reference but a relative, moving reference that is highly dependent on who's the majority in Congress and how they think or vote. This is not an acceptable model, for, if the minority party becomes the majority party in the next election, the derived ideology of think-tanks or the media could change significantly even though their actual positions underwent ZERO change.

      Put another way, if the Republican majority suddenly decides to become 100% conservative, guess what happens. The weighted-mean ADA score would drop, even if the Democrats in Congress DID NOT change at all, and even if the media outlets that are considered "liberal", by the G-M definition, remain STATIC (i.e., no change in their think-tank citation ratios and that of the corresponding "liberals" in Congress). In this case, even though the media's ideology has NOT changed at all, it's adjusted ADA score(s) will artificially look more liberal compared to the lower weighted-mean ADA score. (BONUS FOR LEFTIES: This is right in line with one of the long-time Republican strategies of declaring the media (and Democrats) to be too "liberal" by moving the country to the Right). This is not a partisan issue though. The opposite could occur when we are talking about media outlets that are considered "conservative" because they match the citations of conservative Republicans and if the Democrats decide to become 100% liberal.

      (c) The final, and perhaps most serious, problem with their analysis is their attempt to derive a conclusion of media bias using this study - because their definition of media bias, is in itself, completely flawed. Their confident conclusion that they have demonstrated "liberal" media bias is wrong because the study

    • by pthisis ( 27352 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:48PM (#12883148) Homepage Journal
      And before anyone complains, you may be interested in at least considering:

      http://www.polisci.ucla.edu/faculty/groseclose/Med ia.Bias.8.htm [ucla.edu] [ucla.edu]

      which finds, in part

      Our results show a very significant liberal bias.

      Of course, this study has deep methodological problems that have been discussed to death in the statistical reporting community (See, e.g., Measuring Media Bias, Michael Cardwell, George Mason University, March 1, 2005). The consensus seems to be that the studied media outlets trail their consumer's tendencies in this area--that is, consumers do not, in fact, demand objective coverage, but rather demand coverage skewed to match their views, and media outlets tailor their product to consumer demands. And that changes in consumer bias precede (and drive) changes in media bias.

      One of the major findings is that the American people are by and large more liberal than the members of Congress (in large part because conservatives tend to vote more than liberals, possibly because of age correlations), so comparisons to members of Congress don't tell you whether the media is skewed relative to the general population--and, in fact, it appears that it is not.

      The second upshot is that, since the general population's conservative/liberal leanings are farther to the left than a study of members of Congress would show, it turns out that not only is the media on the whole in line with the public's stance, but that the New York Times is far closer in line with the public's beliefs than is Fox News.

      Note that none of this is meant as a vindication of any journalistic integrity or objectivity; on the contrary, it seems to be basically a result of the media outlets following the dollar and trying to present the news as people want to hear it.

      • the American people are by and large more liberal than the members of Congress

        Which decade are you talking about? It can't be the current one. More Americans have identified themselves as conservatives than Liberals for a very long time.

        A quick Google search turns up the Harris Poll [harrisinteractive.com] that been taken from 1968 to the present.

        The most recent poll from this year shows "that conservatives continue to outnumber liberals by 36 to 18 percent but that the largest number of people think of themselves as moderates
    • by tm2b ( 42473 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:49PM (#12883161) Journal
      All of the news outlets except Fox News Special Report received a score to the left of the average member of Congress.
      Ummm... Duh!

      The average member of Congress is on the right. Of course a centrist position will be to their left. When the Democrats controlled Congress, the average member was to the left and the news tended to be to the right of the average member.

      What a crock.
    • I read the study that you are using for the basis of your opinion piece.

      The methodology is to compare the number of references made by journalists to "left-wing" and "right-wing" think-tanks. The underlying assumption is that liberals will cite left-wing think-tanks more often than right-wing think-tanks. This is a bad assumption.

      The way to determine media bias is to look at what the journalist is saying and determine if what is written is fact or opinion. If it is an opinion, one then determines what
      • by jadavis ( 473492 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @04:06PM (#12884065)
        The selection of facts, and the prominence of those facts can indicate bias.

        If you keep saying that Abu Ghraib (sp?) and Gitmo are important national issues that should occupy our minds on a daily basis, that's a perspective that I disagree with. They matter, I'm not saying we shouldn't avoid abuses, but I just don't care much about a few non-citizens locked up in a prison someplace. If abuses are happening, correct them (investigate, fire people, whatever) and shut up.

        Wouldn't it be bias if some news source only reported horrible crimes by illegal aliens? Every time an illegal alien did something wrong, you could make it a front-page article. I bet you could skew your readers' perspective about immigration policy if you do that for long enough (they might even... *gasp* advocate enforcing the laws that we already have).

        Objective is when you look at something without perspective, which is pretty much impossible. People generally consider it to be more objective if a prominent view in favor and a prominent view against are both presented, but often times there are many viewpoints. And also you can sort of set up one side to look stupid by picking a stupid advocate.

        To me, the worst kind of bias is when you inject opinion into news in creative ways. Consider the following hypothetical "news" story: "Senator A introduced bill B today. The bill does C, but critics say D, E, F, G, H ...". How many times do you see that pattern to a story? They introduce something they are against, and then to argue against it they say "critics say...". It's pretty obvious to me that they are the critics, and they just want to editorialize on the front page.

        Anonymous sources get kind of rediculous also. In 2008, I fully expect to see as a headline somewhere "Candidate X is a poopy-head, sources say.".
        • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @04:55PM (#12884595) Homepage
          If you keep saying that Abu Ghraib (sp?) and Gitmo are important national issues that should occupy our minds on a daily basis, that's a perspective that I disagree with. They matter, I'm not saying we shouldn't avoid abuses, but I just don't care much about a few non-citizens locked up in a prison someplace. If abuses are happening, correct them (investigate, fire people, whatever) and shut up.

          Because, when you try to use moral authority to justify 'spreading democracy and freedom' to the rest of the world, and then proceed to spread lies and torture, you have no moral authority left.

          And very quickly everyone else in the world will say but I just don't care much about a few Americans locked up in a prison someplace.

          Saying you don't care makes you an idiot, not enlightened.
    • Interestingly, in Table 3, the most liberal news outlet is that bastion of capitalism, 'The Wall Street Journal'. Nothing else comes close.
    • Thought Police (Score:3, Interesting)

      Oy. Enough with the friggin' thought police.

      Our results show a very significant liberal bias. All of the news outlets except Fox News Special Report received a score to the left of the average member of Congress.

      So? The average member of Congress is Republican right now. In fact, I suspect that there's also "a surprising liberal bias" among the general populace relative to the average member of Congress too.

      There's supposed to be opinion drift in the media, and it's not supposed to be towards the
  • Who's paying for video over the internet? I didn't know that ever was conceived, fertilized, or left the womb.

    • CNN's videos were only available if you were a subscriber to the RealOne SuperUberMegaPass. Thank god they've finally ditched that...
    • by agilen ( 410830 )
      I do. I pay to subscribe to MLB.TV, major league baseball's live online video service. Its the cheapest way for me to watch my favorite team, who is outside the area where I live.

      Now, paying for CNN online, when I can easily get it with cable, is a completely different story...not something I would do.
  • No Way (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Luigi30 ( 656867 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:03PM (#12882678)
    Of course it's not the death of paid content. There will always be a low-quality feed for free, but for a few bucks a month you will always be able to upgrade to a higher-quality feed. It's the way of the internet, and it's not going away any time soon.
  • Pressure from Fox? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TPIRman ( 142895 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:03PM (#12882682)
    I think the OP is correct that other sites' offering of free video likely played somewhat into the decision to go free on CNN.com, but I doubt that was the primary motivation. More compelling is the theory that CNN saw an improving Web ad market [internetnews.com] and decided that the balance sheet finally worked out in their favor again. (I say "again" because cnn.com video was free once before, way back in the day.) Indeed, a big part of this story is that CNN was able to line up major sponsors [mediapost.com] for the free-video launch.

    As for pressure from Fox, CNN has been losing in the TV ratings for some time, but the people at CNN (I worked there for a while) take great pride in the fact that the website has held its own and remains one of the most-visited news sources on the Internet. Foxnews.com, while definitely drawing a large audience, isn't even close to CNN.com, so the "pressure" on that front would be more of a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses deal for CNN.com than anything else.

    MSNBC.com, however, is hardly a slouch when it comes to site traffic, and their free-video service has become very popular. If any significant pressure is being placed on CNN.com in the online space, it's from MSNBC rather than Fox.
    • by GarfBond ( 565331 )
      It might also be important to note that CNN has switched from Real SuperPass (and hence the RV9 they used to use) to Windows Media 9. To me, this means that they lined up another big sponsor in Microsoft.

      This is a disappointment to me, as it means that I'm not entirely sure I'm always going to be able to watch these videos on a Linux or Mac system; WM10 isn't out on Mac, and obviously never will be for Linux. Real has generally been fairly consistent with clients being available for all 3 big platforms.
      • Why not just MP4? seems pretty simple to just put a link (or better, torrent) to each story, then we can archive it in an open format and never worry about whether our software will work for these historic documents 20 years down the road.
    • CNN wins the website viewers because Fox News' website is poorly graphically designed. Its too busy, (even for a news site) , with too much color contrast and unbalanced content positioning.
  • by Phoenixhunter ( 588958 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:04PM (#12882683)
    This is about finding the right balance of providing content that people are willing to pay for, and who are willing to go elsewhere for.

    Ultimately this will be about finding the right number, in both how much people will pay, and how many of them will. Once we have a solid online payment solution, whether it is Paypal or Google Wallet, or whatever, that allows us to spend relatively minute amounts (ie $0.10) with ease, this shouldn't be a problem.

    • $0.10 is still too expensive. A penny per article is about right, and maybe a penny per second of video.

      No one seems to have this paid content thing figured out. I see online newspapers selling old articles for anywhere from $1.50 to $5.00... come on, it's not like there's some little old lady in the archive vault waiting for your request, the content is just being pulled from a database.

      For $5.00, I'll just find a free source for the same news. For a penny... feh, why bother, just pay the penny and be do
    • Let's assume for a moment that no service provider would ever charge less than an atomic unit of currency for a service. ($0.01/transaction). This is necessary because it's fine to aggregate 30,000 units of 0.33 pennies with one client, but you can't actually withdraw that amount from a single client.

      Now let's assume you want to pay $0.10. You just paid a 10% service fee, substantially higher than any current credit card transaction fee (typically 2-3%). The principle is this: as the total dollar value
      • Google wallet will be supporting payments down to the scale of 1/10 cent. The current plan realizes this will be best for the rest of us with respect to collecting money on personal websites, etc.

        As far as atomic fee values. No. Users will simply see the total value collected to the account. The fee will be accessed against this total value. The fees will be competitive, read: better than paypal in most popular cases. It is possible that your account will have a fractional-cent balance, but clearly withdra
  • by ranson ( 824789 ) * on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:04PM (#12882686) Homepage Journal
    "Apparently, this is a response to pressure from FOX News who has always offered free video. Is this another nail in the coffin of paid content on the internet?"

    Apparently Drinian thinks he knows the inner-workings of CNN? I see no evidence anywhere (press release or otherwise) to support the idea that this was done to alleviate pressure from competing networks. Perhaps CNN struck some advertising deals that would yeild them more money? Perhaps they realized their subscriber base is so small that maintaining subscriptions was more costly than the revenues from them. There are lots of reasons why the video is free now and i don't think a slashdot headline is an appropriate medium to express the submitter's baseless presumption as to why it happened. With that said, lets all be happy that we have more free news :)
  • by venicebeach ( 702856 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:04PM (#12882692) Homepage Journal
    Is this another nail in the coffin of paid content on the internet?

    Or, is this a nail in the coffin of paid (news) content on television?

    When you can get it for free (with ads) on demand on the internet will you pay to have it on TV?
  • Confirmed. Requires Windows Media Player. blech!
    • It works 100% fine for me with the mplayer plugin under Linux (w/ the WMP codecs, of course).
  • Is this... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by eviltypeguy ( 521224 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:05PM (#12882697)
    Is this another article that wants to speak to me like I'm a contestant on Jeopardy? Seriously, the "Is this..." question at the end of "news" "articles" on Slashdot is starting to get old real fast. I'm not on a gameshow blast it!
  • CNN (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kevin_conaway ( 585204 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:06PM (#12882707) Homepage
    Now I can see round the clock coverage of the latest missing girl / boy and who won the latest Fox reality TV show. Seriously, how come they don't report NEWS anymore? All their front page head lines are just BS.
    • Re:CNN (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Iriel ( 810009 )
      I think it's mostly because the pop-American trend for TV is getting way too drama based. Every minute, the 'news' is telling you:

      "Your neighborhood is no longer safe. Is the government cheating you out of hard earned money? (Insert new crash diet) is sweeping the nation with reports of (success | hospitalization). More breaking coverage on celebrities that you'll never meet."

      They realized that they don't need content anymore as long as watching becomes an experience comparable to a rollercoaster or new
      • "Is the government cheating you out of hard earned money? "

        I think this is pretty much a given...but, aside from that...I agree pretty much with you. I think one of the problems is, the average American citizen has the attention span of a gnat....and have to have tiny real news sound bites mixed in with all the fluff to get ANY comprehension in their brains.

  • by DJ Rubbie ( 621940 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:06PM (#12882714) Homepage Journal
    If I recall correctly, a while ago (3 years ago or so) CNN offered videos for free to the public before they added in a paid to view pass system.
  • by tekiegreg ( 674773 ) * <tekieg1-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:07PM (#12882728) Homepage Journal
    Is this another nail in the coffin of paid content?

    HAH! I subscribe to 3 paid sites. Granted I'm a part-time investor, I find thestreet.com and wsj online to be quite handy. Also consumerreports.org for a small fee keeps me tuned to what is good out there and what is a scam.

    Sure I can try and pirate the content out there, but that would require some searching and a guilty feeling for making/saving money at others expense and all these paid sites are very good in and of themselves. So paid content isn't going away any time soon.

    Would I pay for CNN though? Something that I can easily find on TV? Probably not, but again by that logic, how many people watch CNN (a PAID cable channel) and still go out and pay the $0.35 for the Los Angeles Times? People will pay for what they perceive as good content, online or wherever.
  • You always have to pay. Maybe the cost is in accepting unfair/unbalanced video from Fox. Maybe the cost is in accepting CNN's more subtly tuned, yet just as programmed, corporate agenda. But at least we can choose from multiple video sources now, without needing a profit to justify paid consumption. Now, the video aggregator who can correlate the videos from these reportedly "fair/balanced" and "liberal" news corporations with each other, and with Republican Party PR, will really have something worth watchi
  • I saw a story about Tom Cruise having watter squirted on him by some "journalnist" (but we better protect Bloggers from prosecution when they go public with trade secrets they knew were protected by NDA).

    I just though the video was so bad, they knew no one would pay for it.

    Still, I didn't watch it because it required Windows Media Player - which I refuse to install.
  • All of those hailing this as another nail in the coffin of paid content on the Internet should notice that what you paid for on CNN was content that was free on my cable channel.

    This is clearly a broken business model. Why in their right mind would pay for what they can get for free.

    On the other hand, I am more than willing to pay for content which is valuable, unique, and not available for free anywhere else.

    For example, I (and many others) have a subscription to the discussion boards at The Motley Fool
  • I saw the link. I thought it was trick and didn't click. Why watch talking heads when you can read the text instead. Reading is the best thing for a Democracy.
  • by Wanderer1 ( 47145 ) <wanderer1 AT pobox DOT com> on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:19PM (#12882864)
    "Is this another nail in the coffin of paid content on the internet?"


    "Supply and Demand"

    Clearly, at some juncture, things will evolve past the point where "free as in beer" is the norm, but as long as one of your competitors offers the same service for free, unless you have something people are willing to pay for, you're cannot easily compete with the guy down the street offering an open keg tap.

    So far, I've paid for a Salon subscription (no longer,) and a Slashdot subscription (awhile back) because I wanted to support both enterprises. I also tend to pay PBS and a small radio station (WCPE) which provide material I enjoy with good quality or ideals that I wish to further in the world.

    You may remember, CNN and Fox News get their revenue on the television by selling advertisements. Why would online be any different?

    What you really should be asking yourself is: Is the future of computer network media *sales* in the hands of the podcaster? And if so, will micropayments finally succeed? Visa, Mastercard, Amex? Are you listening? And, oh, by the way, have you had enough ID theft to start using those smart-chip equipped cards yet? I am tired of waiting!

    • You may remember, CNN and Fox News get their revenue on the television by selling advertisements.

      Yes, and no. They also get a goodly percentage of their income from the cable or satellite providers who carry their channels. You pay for that in the form of your cable or satellite monthly bill.

  • Now I wish those p0rn sites will take notice of this too.
  • I thought you had to have a real guide pass (or whatever it's called this week) to access the video.

    I'm guessing that this change also has to do to the lack of revenue coming from that venture. Which would confirm the fact that Real is having problems attracting people to pay for their premium content.
  • False Dichotomy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Moiche ( 840352 ) *
    Not to be too pedantic, but framing the discussion in terms of paid content/no paid content offers two options, neither of which is accurate. "Nail in the coffin of paid content on the internet"? Who is the poster kidding? So CNN is streaming free video. So what. NYTimes, which has long offered its daily paper free after registration (insert slashdot/NYTimes registration meta humor here), is going to start charging for its OP-ed columns [corporate-ir.net], and a few other tasty morsels. Does that mean that we can expec
  • I was watching the BBC online for free back in 1999.

    And this is really odd. Public broadcasting is being phased out [google.com] and we get an article about CNN offering it's video for free. We need to get our priorities straight before someone starts straightening them out for us.

  • "Is this another nail in the coffin of paid content on the internet?" - this is a joke, right? I mean, you do understand that this has no bearing on reality?
  • Is this another nail in the coffin of paid content on the internet?

    No, this is another nail in the coffin of the idea that people will pay for content on the internet that they can get for free* from other distribution channels.

    (* I realize cable television isn't actually "free", but with so many advertising-subsidized channels to choose from, the cost of CNN's programming alone is too cheap to meter.)
  • IMHO.. see the thing is, websites like CNN/Fox News/etc try to make it impossible for the viewer to save the video files to disk. They never provide "right click link to save video file" or whatever. So what they offer is a low-bw feed for free... If I upgrade to the premium package and pay $5 month, I still only get one time viewing.. it's too restrictive.

    Now if I could save & share those high bw feeds over the internet, I might be interested in a subscription. Until then, there doesn't seem
  • Is this another nail in the coffin of paid content on the internet?"

    No, as many nails as we pound into the "paid content" coffin, the ones we really want... (cough)PORN(cough)... will never be free.

  • It only supports WiMP. I'll stick to cbsnews.com, since their support of RealPlayer allows for Linux viewers.
  • They have now changed from Real technologies to Windows Media.

    This means no more "rght-click" & play in separte media player.

    Windows media sucks on Macs (no aliasing) and you have to keep it in a browser window.

    Does anybody know what the direct links to the videos are? I would like to bookmark "Now in the News"
  • Across the information and media industries, there exists two incompatable visions of the future of the infirmation age. One relies on the unrestricted uninhibited free flow of information, the other relies on every piece of information and media being managed and controlled and treated like physical property.

    One thing many people do not understand: these two visions are not just different, they are incompatable! for one to succedede the other must fail hands down! There can be no middle ground. IMHO,
  • Did anyone actually pay for their content before? The only people i could see actually paying for news footage are other news agencies - as a user when i've clicked on videos on CNN before and found some stupid message to subscribe i just go to another site - its their loss of possible advertising revenue. Either way i still don't think most commercial news is a good idea, thats what leads to dumbing down of the masses and bias, although I respect Fox, CNN etc because they are a business and thats what they
  • by thisisauniqueid ( 825395 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @02:55PM (#12883221)
    It's a bit convoluted, but here's how to play these videos on Linux without having to delve into HTML and JS, and without having to use an embedded video plugin (lots of which seem to lock up and crash frequently):

    - Install the GreaseMonkey extension to Firefox: http://greasemonkey.mozdev.org/ [mozdev.org]
    - Install the Unembed script for GreaseMonkey: http://dunck.us/collab/GreaseMonkeyUserScripts [dunck.us]
    - Install xine and the Windows codecs: http://cambuca.ldhs.cetuc.puc-rio.br/xine/ [puc-rio.br]
    - Go to http://www.cnn.com/video/player/player.html [cnn.com] in Firefox (the links on each story don't work, they check to see if WMP9 is installed, and then they fail)
    - Click on the story you want.
    - Right-click on the title above the embedded video (it's the name of the video in blue text, and it's in the same frame as the embedded video). Select "This Frame->Show only this frame" from the context menu.
    - There should now be a link next to the video that says "[download]".
    - Shift-click on the "[download]" link to open it in a new tab (right-click doesn't work, so you can't copy the link destination).
    - Switch to the new tab, and press Ctrl-L Ctrl-C to copy the URL.
    - Open a terminal, and type "xine " then Ctrl-Shift-V to paste the URL. Press enter and the movie should play!

    • by Anonymous Coward
      This is exactly the reason why grandma doesn't run Linux. She'd be OK, until some Website that only runs content on IE browsers comes along, (usually on ALL of them) and BAM, "Why doesn't this work?.

      Just follow these (simple?) instructions, Grandma; (and don't forget to write your own drivers for that dial-up (win)modem and re-compile your Kernel.

      Linux fan who knows that Linux isn't quite ready for the desktop yet.
  • Is this another nail in the coffin of paid content on the internet?
    This made me snicker a little, because I always see the phrase:
    "Is this another nail in the coffin of free content on the internet?".
    I'm very glad to see this because I'm always seeing interesting-looking but apparently video-only stories on cnn.com, but can't view them. Now I can!

    Yes, I am a cheap bastard.

  • by aslate ( 675607 ) <planetexpress&gmail,com> on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @03:09PM (#12883425) Homepage
    According to the summary:

    Is this another nail in the coffin of paid content on the internet?

    Funny, i've been getting free news broadcasts off BBC News [bbc.co.uk] for ages, and it's decent news programming at that! No "free registration", random cookies and adverts either.
  • Is this another nail in the coffin of paid content on the internet?

    Yeah, right--someday, all internet porn will be 'free.'

  • With all due respect, this isn't newsworthy, any more than it's a revelation that the stuff people don't sell at a yard sale end up in the trash, free-for-the-picking, the next day.

    If anyone knows better, it's the online community, who recognizes that the mainstream media is so marginalized in terms of content, it's not worth paying attention to. This can be traced back to Reagan's veto of Fairness Doctrine [bsalert.com]. Now mainstream media and news is basically one long infomercial for cars, pills and unoriginal th
  • I would rather throw-up than have to watch Nancy Grace for an hour. I wish everyone who felt like me would send a letter or email to CNN to see if her program time could be changed to about 4:00 am (Sorry, your third shifters.)With enough letters, maybe CNN would get the message. She may be a good reporter, but she hurts my ears.

    Since CNN changed formats, and because of Nancy Grace, I switch between MSNBC,FOX and CNN plus some other locals when they are on. It is difficult to get unbiased news reporting

  • by ashitaka ( 27544 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @03:17PM (#12883504) Homepage
    You have to watch the ad. You cannot skip it, you cannot fast forward it. You are stuck watching that same flipping spot for a car sitting in a waterfall which I for one will never buy.

    That's the trade off. Your time. As valuable as you make it.
  • CBS News has always had free video. Why assume that it's only pressure from Fox.
  • Bondage to proprietary formats isn't free.
  • Sponsered Content (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SirSlud ( 67381 ) on Wednesday June 22, 2005 @03:38PM (#12883725) Homepage
    > Is this another nail in the coffin of paid content on the internet?

    There's no such thing as free information. How can slashdot possibly print the above with a straight face; their information is 'free', but the content is highly dictated by commercial interests. Any content with advertising in it is not free. How about 'another nail in the coffin for subscriber supported unbiased editorial and news content?'

    I cannot believe the shit being passed off as news. The Odd News page seems to be the very antithesis of what we need; and yet, we flock to it in droves since real news often doesn't taste so good going down.

Forty two.