A Media Review of CNN.com

CNN.com is the official web site for the CNN news organization. Right from the home page you can tell that the site provides a wealth of varying information. Some of the categories available to a visitor of the site includes the normal World and U.S. news, as well as sports, business, weather, travel and education.

They also have a section of video clips on varying topics including the ones I’ve previously mentioned as well as “Sci-tech” (having to do with science) and “Offbeat” (having to do with strange and wacky news, for example today’s featured a grilled cheese eating contest, and a Python which may have swallowed a cat!).

Having previously analyzed FOXNEWS.com, it is apparent to me that in comparison CNN.com has a great deal more to offer in terms of amount of stories. Another key element that gives this site an edge is its well thought out integration of video footage into the articles. Unfortunately some video did not work well, or even at all. I am unsure weather it is because of my media players, the fact that I use mac and not pc, or if it is a problem with their video files or server.

The first article I read, “New Orleans Officer’s Plead not guilty” was well written. The article seemed a little negative toward the officers involved in the alleged beating of an elderly man, said to be intoxicated and violent, and assault of an Associated Press Television News Producer. However, this was not because of the writer’s words, but rather the quotes used, backed by video clips of the beating, and finally a separate, linked article about police taking 200 new and used cars from a dealership prior to Hurricane Katrina.

What makes the quotes so effective is that the author uses quotes from both an AP representative and Police representative, that way both sides are given an opportunity to speak. The use of the beating footage gives the viewer an opportunity to decide for them self weather or not the accused officer truly we’re wrong or if they were justified. The video is quite a powerful tool, and ads a lot to the story.

Finally, the linked article provides a solid example of events which overshadows the police department in New Orleans. This story is unbiased and presents both the Cadillac dealer’s side of the story, and evidence that the cars were used as an emergency measure. “There were some officers who did use Cadillacs,” Riley said. “Those cars were not stolen.”

The second story that I read was Biometrics still out of reach of U.S. ATMs which was a straight forward Technology news story. This story is one of those interesting pieces of news that we do not normally hear about; futuristic science fiction that is available today. The reporter made no assumptions or influential comments as to weather biometrics is a good idea or a bad idea, safe or unsafe. There were simple, straight forward facts.

The story was captivating, just the idea that such a high technology is in place in Columbia and the South American countries rather than the U.S. is food for thought. With arguments for and against biometrics, it feels like you have all the information to form an educated discussion.

Finally I read an entertainment story Reality shows hit hard times, a very timely entertainment story. The story presents real statistics to back up its title. Many of realities shows are down in ratings, and the hard numbers are their to back it up. Of course the story give an opportunity for the broadcasters to rebut and explain why reality t.v. is not exactly dead, leaving the reader with two sides of the story. This is yet another timely, well written article.

In conclusion CNN.com is a very informative news organization that appeals to a wide audience. Their purpose is to inform the reader with unbiased information, and to provide a wide variety of information other than the top stories of the day. They use the integration of new technology and traditional technology quite well to support their articles and give the viewer more information to form their own conclusion.

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