Friday, September 24, 2010

Hard News Loses Again

The latest news from Associated Press about a management shakeup at CNN offers little hope for those of us still trying to recover the service that Headline News used to bring when it was first launched:
Struggling CNN has fired Jon Klein, the head of its U.S. network.

CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton said Friday that Klein is being replaced by Ken Jautz, who currently runs HLN. The former Headline News Network has been a success in recent years with a switch to an opinionated prime-time lineup.
In other words Jautz is being rewarded for what he did to Headline News (which amounts to wiping out all trace of the you-give-us-twenty-minutes-we'll-give-you-the-world motto).  As far as I can tell, these days there are only two sources of "straight" news on a regular basis, neither of which is American.  There is the BBC World Service, which we can only get in occasional doses through the good graces of Public Television;  and, since the BBC is having major budget problems, it is unclear how long that option will remain.  Then there is Al Jazeera English, which continues to work its way up as a BBC competitor;  but, as far as I can tell, no American television delivery company, cable or satellite, is willing to touch that network.  So the only real option is to watch their live feed on computer.  I suppose this means that, in a market-driven culture, information is inevitably displaced by propaganda.

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