Twitter gives CNN a smack of reality

At one time I was a big fan of CNN. Walk into our home and you could probably find it playing on one of the two televisions we own, much to my wife's irritation. If it was happening in the the world you could be sure that you would hear about it on CNN.

Let me rephrase that – you could have heard it on CNN. These days though it seems to be all about some dumb beauty queen having her crown taken way or some other mundane bland repetitive non-news.

A perfect example of this is the recent events in Iran where the people are literally rioting on behalf of Mir Hossein Mousavi because of his unexpected loss to sitting president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, In this case the most current and reliable source of news coming out of the region has been on Twitter. Along with passing along news as it was happening in Iran there was also a growing movement of people calling CNN to task over their coverage of what could be a world changing event.

Remember this is Iran, the country where shortly before the election the country's complete SMS suddenly went dark. This is the country where being a blogger is a dangerous profession that could land you in jail, if not dead.

Yet for much of Saturday there was no word of these protests on CNN, who instead reported only about the winner of the election.

Yet even as word of the urban strife, seemingly led by those posting to Twitter, spread next around the world on news networks like the BBC, NPR, and the Times, CNN remained mostly mute. Even when the network's Internet site finally posted a story late Saturday, the network's first "story highlight" was, "Ahmadinejad plans rally after winning second presidential term."

Source: cnet News

Even one of our fellow blogs, ReadWriteWeb, noticed this inequity in what was being reported

And it wasn't long before word of CNN's theoretical reporting failure began to make its way into more established media. Under the headline, "Dear CNN, Please Check Twitter for News About Iran," the popular blog ReadWriteWeb blasted the network for its failure to cover the clearly massive story in the Middle East.

"Hours after Iranian police began clashing with tens of thousands of people in the street," ReadWriteWeb wrote late Saturday night, "the top story on CNN.com remains peoples' confusion about the switch from analog TV signals."

Source: cnet News

None of this changed either as Sunday morning rolled around with CNN still focusing on the victory rather than the protests in the streets of Iran. In Twitter thought the reports from the streets are still rolling along with the increasingly popular hashtag of #CNNFail.

In this case it seems that the real reporting of news is coming at us in 140 characters while CNN continues to play it safe. So much for a new network that claims to be all about the news regardless of where it is happening.

[picture: cnet News]