Accuracy in Media

CNN which has been suffering from an identity crisis in the increasingly partisan world of cable news is eschewing the non partisan label for what network chief Ken Jautz calls being “aggressively independent.”

The network which is now playing to its strengths with its coverage of events in Egypt, Japan and Libya with a combination of sending anchors to the hotspots and bringing in talent from CNN International.

According to the Associated Press’ David Bauder this is part of Jautz’s strategy to focus more on news gathering than political debate:

Under Jautz during these big international stories, CNN has begun featuring news talent from CNN International. Hala Gorani has co-anchored newscasts on the main network, and reported from Egypt alongside Cooper. Isha Sesay co-anchored Blitzer’s “Situation Room” while he was on the road last week.

This decision has paid off for CNN as the network’s ratings have soared thanks to the tragedy in Japan and the uprisings in the Middle East and given Jautz and company some hope that the network will be able to compete with MSNBC and to a lesser extent Fox News once the interest in the vents overseas subsides.

Call it what you want but going from non partisan to “aggressively independent” doesn’t address the fundamental problems with its previously low rated programs.

Once the news overseas simmers down as it is likely to do at some point CNN will likely find that its recent gains were indeed short term and that they will once again return to third place in the cable news ratings race.

CNN and Jautz should use the boost to fix their ailing programs if they want a chance to retain even a fraction of the audience but it appears that they are too busy basking in the glow of their ratings surge to be bothered with the long term outlook.


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