CNN Compared to CNNI

I noticed a huge difference today when I was watching CNN International’s more… cautious coverage, compared to CNN’s, of the missing Boeing 777.  Unfortunately, I don’t actually have CNNI – my grandmother does, so when I’m at her house, I often switch and watch CNNI, just to see different hosts and see how the channel is different than CNN/US.  And the differences are simply staggering!

For starters, I’d like to say I enjoyed CNNI’s graphics and news desk used by Amara Walker much better than the graphics used on CNN/US Newsroom.  (And while we’re at it… Why does Brooke Baldwin have a stylized version of CNN Newsroom, with different colors and animations?  Just give her a show with a different name if it is going to have different graphics than the normal Newsrooms).  The graphics on CNNI Newsroom were simply spectacular – sleek and different to the boring graphics used by all other editions of CNN/US Newsrooms.  And Amara Walker seemed like a good anchor; I wouldn’t mind her getting one of Fredricka Whitfield’s weekend hours.  Maybe add a three-anchor rotation: Fredricka Whitfield, then one hour of Amara Walker, and then go to Don Lemon for the evening editions.

At any rate, CNN Newsroom’s graphics need to catch up with International’s, because they don’t match up well now… They’re falling behind, in fact.

And now to the content. CNN/US is doing nothing but speculating, from the beginning of the day until the end.  To some degree, this is understandable and will obviously happen.  But other news is going on, and I’d rather hear about it instead of “experts” speculating for hours on end. The forty-five minutes of CNN International I watched (the last fifteen minutes of one edition before it went to World Sport, and then the next full edition of Newsroom) contained probably 2/3rds of the show discussing the Boeing 777, and a 1/3rd discussing other news.  Of that 2/3rds, only a small portion consisted of speculation.  The rest was more or less just reporting the facts.  I liked that much more than CNN/US’s coverage of the issue.

And then the matter of the “LIVE CNN” icon on the bottom right of the screen.  On CNN International, they played a report from David McKenzie, where he spoke live to Amara Walker and then went to a taped package interview with some Chinese man.  On CNNI, the moment David threw to his taped bit, they took the “LIVE” away.  When he was back live, the live icon came back on.  Thirty minutes later on CNN/US, Jim Sciutto spoke to David… And while he threw to the same package, CNN/US didn’t drop the “LIVE” when it was the pre-corded interview.

It is a shame CNN/US does this. On New Day Saturday and Sunday, they do something similar to this.  Correspondents just say “Victor” or “Christi” at the beginning, and then go to a taped segment.  CNN leaves the “LIVE CNN” – which is, of course, misleading and wrong.  The only way to tell if something is live on CNN/US is if you look at the right or left side of the screen, where it will have the correspondent or guests’ location along with the time in that city.  If the time isn’t there, then it isn’t a live segment.

Morning Express is very good at dropping the “LIVE” icon when it throws to a taped segment, like CNN International.  So why can’t CNN/US do the same?

2 replies

  1. Interesting… I also like CNN International (originally I am a Czech republic citizen). As differences betw CNN/US and CNNI, I think that US people do not not like hard news, they like only speculations, talking, opinions – all this Fox does and CNN must go the same way because of ratings. I remember an old CNN style. At this time CNNI original programme was small, so CNN/US was rebroadcasted this on this channel live. I remember CNN WorldDay, NewsHour, InternationaHour, TheWordlToday, PrimeNews and others from CNN/US. Those ones were when the news was important for the audience. But now?

    If you want to watch CNNI, go to http://www.livenewschat.eu/international/

    Martin from the Czech republic.

    • I agree that many people don’t like hard news. However, pure speculation is ridiculous. I am happy to see that CNN is doing extended coverage and preempting tape; it is a shame it comes, in some cases, at the cost of journalistic integrity.

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