NewsTrack 7: CNN Wrap-Up

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For the past few months, I had the opportunity to monitor CNN as my NewsTrack site. The company has always been at the cutting-edge of its industry since the day it became the nation’s first all-news channel. I was a fan of CNN before I was randomly assigned to monitor the site, and doing so throughout the semester has only made me appreciate CNN.com and all it has to offer even more.

One way to evaluate CNN one final time would be to see whether or not its coverage lives up to its mission statement. That mission statement is as follows:

“Our mission is to create the finest possible news product and to present hard-breaking, national, and international news, as it unfolds. We deliver unparalleled perspectives across multiple categories, including political, medical, financial, technology, entertainment, and more.

At CNN, we know our news and want to share it. Our vision is for the network to be broadcasted to countries all over the world in English and the various regional languages. The journalists at CNN work around the clock, providing the latest news 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We provide live coverage and analysis of news across numerous categories. At CNN, our goal is to deliver accurate information to our viewers with speed so that they are well informed at all times.”

From its instant coverage of the Brussels attacks in March to its comprehensive look into the life of Justice Scalia after his passing, throughout my time monitoring CNN they have more than lived up to their mission. The site provides up-to-date coverage, remains unbiased, and does so with a great deal of journalistic integrity and style.

Some of the things that I have enjoyed the most during my time monitoring CNN, and some of the pros of their content in general, would be:

  • Top-notch election/campaign coverage
    • CNN has gone above and beyond the call of duty to provide its readers with only the best coverage of the 2016 presidential election. Politics are at the hallmark of CNN’s coverage, and through articles like this they have proven their prowess.
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With a whole section of its site dedicated to election coverage, CNN has its pulse on the 2016 presidential election.
  • Their social media presence
    • As an earlier NewsTrack post noted, CNN is one of the few companies to be on the Discover page on Snapchat, with new content every day. They also are very active on Twitter, with their Twitter page garnering 25 million followers.
  • Design, layout, overall look
    • The website is generally very easy to navigate, sections are well-organized and distinguished, and time stamps on articles are a great added touch. Their site is designed in such a way that keeps readers wanting to come back.
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CNN’s homepage is essentially flawless.
Although there are a number of things that CNN does really well, here a few areas where they could improve:
  • More video coverage
    • Although many of the articles on the site have a video embedded in the article or a related one attached, something that I would like to see from CNN in the future is more topical and pertinent videos relating to articles. Often times the video that is “linked” to an article has something to do with the piece, but is not directly related. More in-depth analysis type videos would be nice as well, instead of just plain news videos.
  • More interactive elements
    • In this multimedia journalism age, companies are constantly having to evolve and change their look to stay up to speed. I think CNN does a brilliant job of interacting with readers on social media, but I would like to see more of these interactive elements on their site. More polls and articles that readers can really engage with, things of that nature. An example of this would be the interactive election results app that the Boston Globe created. It was updated every 15 seconds, and gave readers another way to grapple with the data.

To close, I would most certainly recommend visiting CNN to anyone looking to stay on top of the news – both in the US and worldwide. Their coverage spans across a wide range of topics, and their digital team is constantly at work to stay on top of things in this ever-changing news environment. I will most definitely continue to monitor CNN as one of my main news outlets, and as long as they keep churning out excellent content in an engaging manner, I expect many others to do the same.

Live-Tweeting from Play It Forward: A Day of Sports

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The sports journalism panel was one of the highlights of the day.

Last Friday I had the pleasure of covering the first ever BU Sports Communication Summit: Play It Forward. The event discussed the future of sports and featured panels on sports safety, sports law, sports tech, and sports journalism. Hosted by Andrea Kremer, HBO correspondent and NFL Network co-host, the various discussions throughout the day included a number of prominent voices in the sports world – among them Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, co-founder of Concussion Legacy Foundation Chris Nowinski, NFL agent Neil Schwartz, Olympic Gold-Medalist Angela Ruggiero, and ESPN senior writer Kevin Blackistone. Check out my Storify that summarizes my coverage of the event.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day’s program and hope to see more events like this for aspiring sports journalists like myself at BU in the future.