CNN's Problem: Too Much News

The once-revolutionary network has been betrayed by its principles
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2010 10:13 AM CDT
CNN's Problem: Too Much News
A billboard for CNN is shown Monday, Feb. 1, 2010 in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

CNN has lost nearly half its prime-time viewers in the first half of this year, and it’s not hard to see why: It’s been done in by its own principles. Ex-CNN Chief Rick Kaplan once pooh-poohed Fox News as “basically just talk radio,” and touted CNN as the “one network that really covers the news, not talks about covering the news.” Which is a noble but fundamentally outdated ideal, and leaves the network straining "to break through a stultifying smog of midmarket general-interestness," writes Michael Hirschorn of New York.

When it launched, CNN was as revolutionary as Google, but it no longer seems all that useful “in an era when news flows like water—available everywhere, all the time, instantly,” Hirschorn argues. “If anything, sitting down for 22 minutes to watch a middlebrow mix of politics and weather seems inefficient. What was very urgent in 1980 or on 9/11 no longer seems crucial when we’re drowning in news.” (More CNN stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.