Wednesday, June 08, 2005

CNN Counterprograming Against Fox

When Fox first became a threat, CNN first tried to compete by moving to the right. That didn't work as Fox took a significant lead, averaging 842,000 viewers to CNN's 458,000. After all, if you want biased right wing Pravda-style propaganda , nobody does it better than Fox.

USA Today reports that CNN is now trying a different approach with the announcement of format and anchor changes. These include more concentration on news and analysis and less on political debate. USA Today quotes CNN chief Jon Klein and News analyst Andrew Tyndall:

"There are many tactical things we could do to try to beat Fox, but we're trying to be ourselves: Roll up our sleeves and report the news, don't talk about it," Klein says.

News analyst Andrew Tyndall says that in making the changes, CNN chose to "counterprogram against Fox rather than compete."

Hopefully this counterprograming will also means abandoning their rightward tilt. One change which might not be favorable towards objective reporting is thatWolf Blitzer will have a weekday 3 to 6 p.m. ET news show called The Situation Room, which replaces Inside Politics, Crossfire and Wolf Blitzer Reports.

A change to news and analysis may offer an improvement over the current trend of putting up competing viewpoints and claiming this as balance. Typically these shows put up a conservative who distorts the facts in line with GOP talking points against a more honest liberal or moderate. Without true new analysis to show the dishonesty in the conservative argument, the "facts" fabricated by the conservatives are seen as valid by the viewers. Hopefully CNN will offer true journalism and investigate the claims made by each side. I also hope that they concenterate more on the facts needed to understand the political issues and less on the horse races.


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