Chicken Noodle News: CNN and the Quest for Respect




McDowall, Katy

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This thesis, focusing on Cable News Network, studies how cable news has changed in the past 30 years. In its infancy, CNN was a pioneer. The network proved there was a place for 24-hour news and live story coverage. More than that, CNN showed that 24-hournews could be done cheaper than most of the era’s major networks. But time has changed cable news. As a rule, it is shallower, more expensive and more political, and must adapt to changing technologies. This thesis discusses ways CNN can regain its place in the ratings against competitors like Fox News and MSNBC, while ultimately improving cable news by sticking to its original core value: the news comes first. To accomplish this, this thesis looks at CNN’s past and present, and, based upon real examples, makes projections about the network’s (and journalism’s) future.



Journalism, CNN, Cable news, Television news, Ted Turner, 24-hour news