Monday, September 10, 2012

CNN Elections Wrap-Up -- Where are the issues?

Keara Vickers

We’ve entered the final countdown of this election season -- the primaries and conventions are over and the final 60 day stretch has begun.

But if you were only looking at CNN’s coverage, the Democratic National Convention didn’t serve much of a purpose other than as a coalition of rock stars and celebrities with a pinch of politics.

CNN traded its edge on the forefront of politics to try to court the disenfranchised twenty-somethings. By trading hefty issue-based stories for front-page coverage of the Foo Fighters at the DNC, they’ve served to alienate those who actually seek out information when visiting their website.

Although CNN redeemed themselves somewhat with this  fascinating article on the prevalence of “free speech zones” at the DNC and RNC. It’s finally a spark of that fiery investigatory spirit that we all believe the press should have. Unfortunately, I can see the issue disappearing quickly under a sea of stories reminding me what celebrity endorsed who.

Not the hard-hitting highlight stories you'd expect.
In an informal and highly unscientific poll of my friends, those that were interested in election politics strayed away from the main news networks and focused more on the New York Times or Washington Post websites. Those that were uninterested in politics didn’t even bother with the big 3 news networks. CNN is losing its edge because it doesn’t know who its really targeting.

It’s reminiscent of the lurching secondhand embarrassment that came when my mother began to un-ironically use “cray” (as in Kanye West and Jay-Z fame.) CNN misses the mark on both entertainment and politics by trying to hit them at the same time. They serve to alienate those who are genuinely interested in the political issues as well as provide sub-par entertainment coverage next to specialized sources like TMZ or E! News.

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