I work in an international, governmental context and, like most folks who work in Washington D.C., there’s always a television on with CNN or Fox News somewhere. Through the constant exposure and, thus, opportunities for analysis that I have had vis-à-vis these networks, I have come to the conclusion that there are multitudes of ways in which they compromise their journalistic integrity (I know, I sound like Mr. Obvious).
While I usually have something to say about Fox, today my beef is all with CNN.
What stood out to me this morning is CNN’s ridiculously unnecessary, redundant, and juvenile practice of showing viral Youtube videos. What, if any, value could that serve? Most of their viewers who have televisions already have access to Youtube and can see such videos at their own volition. Since when does a video of a short person and a bearded man lip-syncing in their living room in a comical manner have anything to do with “news’? Am I supposed to run to my neighbor’s house and ask them if their relatives are okay and if they’ve heard about it? I mean, imagine! The global implications of two bored people lip-syncing!
I don’t even need to get into the idiocy of discussing random viewers’ comments that have been posted on Twitter – a.k.a. reporting gossip.
How does this compromise journalistic integrity? Simple. This “information”, which is not able to be considered news (rather spontaneous popular fascinations of American netizens), takes the place of arguably important stories on developments within the United States and around the world. By dedicating air time to the dregs of internet entertainment, CNN is effectively denying their viewers the ability to learn of important developments in other areas. As journalists, the folks at CNN should be appalled by their own delusional practice of proliferating ignorance in the American public by refraining from thorough journalistic reporting. How far will this practice go? How much time per day does CNN spend showing useless information? I would like to see a study done. Will we reach a point when CNN becomes the next Tosh2.0?
I can’t help but feel that American news media outlets have come down with a severe ailment that impairs journalistic practices. The symptoms are vile. Are news media in other countries afflicted with the same degenerate trend?