The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

CNN's Pulsatile Coverage Of MH370, Breaking News, And Possbile Long-term Impact: $'s Vs Real News

On March 16th, 2014, CNN News Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter, aired a 1:33 minutes segment that appeared as a retort against some who had grown weary of CNNs 24/7 coverage of the missing Malaysian Airlines 777 liner. Stetler as is the model of Reliable Sources, provides a unique straight-faced comments about CNN's almost pulsatile and unending coverage. The host's spoke briefly as if justifying the network's way over the top coverage. Stelter at the 45 to 48 second mark of the segment makes a statement his network managers (his bosses) should consider.  He stated "sometimes networks overact" (paraphrased).  

Stelter went on to indicate his wife exhorted networks to return to the airline story.  UUUUM....has the nation gone so far towards seeking self-gratification from reality-like TV, network managers cannot see the over-the-top waste of continuing to report a story as "Breaking News," when the story long ago fell off the moniker of "breaking."

The following Sunday, March 23rd,  Stelter and Erik Wimple, Washington Post, took up the cause celeb via attacking Fox News criticism of MH370 over coverage. The coverage of that particular Sunday included video of an airline simulator trainer who has since been fired from his Canadian employer. Apparently, the Canadian employer didn't care for the trainer's manner of dress ("as a teenager") and he is alleged to have reported for work at his 'real job' far too late and too often.,......

Fagrz9fjrqapqdhgeoqnWouldn't you know, a week later (March 30th) CNN's Stelter and his management must have felt criticism too much to accept. Stelter actually illustrated and explained why CNN continued, and to this day continues, to focus way too much airtime on a tragedy that has no "Breaking News" end in the near term. Despite all the words from Stelter, he could have simply stated, "We are sticking with the story because people are enthralled and excited by tragedy."

As Stelter work to rationalize and justify the pulsatile coverage, network management and show producers must have felt a bit of an example would be good for Reliable Sources viewers: Talking Points Memo reported. Now, that was so very staged it was unimaginable.  While Stelter was for the third straight week justifying CNN's over-the-top coverage, network producer injected Airline crash speculation via what turned-out to be fishing net trash

Yes, the story garners ratings and ratings garner revenue.  Of course, media is a business and there is none more competitive than television media and the competition between established leader Fox News and the battling two at CNN and MSNBC.   

Stelter's ratings make good business sense. But, no matter his words, no matter CNN's position on the reality show, the network is stumbling through media mediocrity and shamefully feeding repeat explanations, zany speculation (meant to entice and excite) and hundreds of repeat explanations of Blue-Fins technology and Beep locating equipment.

The coverage goes on and one with brief breaks for coverage of other " human tragedies". Did CNN give even moderate time to the recent white supremacist shootings at the Kansas City Jewish Community Center?

Poynter Dot Org published a piece on March 30th, after the early morning Reliable Sources broadcast. The Poynter piece is a good one, as it provides perspective on Stelter and his management's decision to rationalize over-the-top pulsatile coverage via showing a set of ratings. Poynter's Sandra Oshiro summed-up her piece as follows....

Fallows said in a way, the story of the flight is like war coverage and grips part of the public. “It’s of undeniable human interest — human and intellectual and geostrategic [interest.]” But he added he would encourage CNN to bring on more of the experts who can dismiss “the nutty things” that are part of the speculation around the flight’s disappearance and discuss instead the range of real possibilities. 
The high ratings for the flight coverage suggest a widening gulf between media critics and news consumers, Beaujon said. Average weekly ratings for flight coverage are on par and may have exceeded that for the 2012 presidential elections, he said, and points to the large audience that wants coverage of Flight MH370.

"A widening gulf between media critics and new consumers..." Basically, I read it, we have been transformed into short-term gratification beings who love to chuckle, love to see hardship (while relishing in not being hurt by it), and people who are serious reality show nosy. 

So, CNN marches on, real news takes a back seat to "reality show-like sensationalism" and meandering reporting on an international tragedy. Could the ratings garnering niche for CNN represent the basis for our very less informed? The answer is rhetorical as pulsatile coverage of the MH370 tragedy, while of some importance, robs serious news viewers of opportunity to feed their brains with information that could lead to more educated consumer of news.

As MH370 has moved to constant explanations of BlueFin technology, fading Black-box pings, the Indian Ocean sea bed and speculation comparable to Geraldo Rivera's famous Al Capone Safe fiasco. CNN's latest journey into a land of OZ, is linking the Titanic, in the most ridiculous of ways, the tired CNN "Breaking News" moniker and post commercial break programming. 

This Isn't Breaking News, CNN

Posted: Updated: 

CNN is drawing some collective eye-rolling on the Internet over its use of "breaking news." 

The network's liberal use of the phrase is legendary. This graphic about the sinking of the Titanic, tweeted from the account of "The Newsroom's" fictional Will McAvoy Tuesday night, said it all:

Embedded image permalink

CNN has now moved from the fired simulator trainer to an underwater submarine! 

There is another sad reality of CNN's 'death-grip" (will not let go) coverage. I wonder how the CBO or Treasury would assess or "score" CNN contribution to national GDP? The network has even contemplated renting a 777 airliner for Martin Savages on-air meandering and live shots. Numerous talking heads are booked on the daily and without doubt all of the coverage impacts employment, contacts, vendor relationship, and guest agents exchanging of finds for services.

And yes, I am guilty of avoiding shows like MSNBC's The Cycle, via running off to CNN to occupy viewing time. Thus, my gullible side manifest as when I sit and watch "Finding Big-Foot." I know to the core of my brain and heart, there will never exist an on-camera shot of Big-Foot. I also know those claims of (forest) sounds that I never hear, scripted realty-TV.

My guilt of occasional viewing of "Finding Big-Foot" places me here.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. 
Albert Einstein
I ask where does the quote place leave CNN, if we consider reasons for the pulsatile coverage beyond a pure revenue grab?  

The network is providing ratings garnering reports to consumers, but I posit the network is also sensationalizing via its quest for revenue and market ratings.

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