CNN Is Such Shit Now

I don’t pretend to be an expert in journalism. But I know that the 24/7 televised news media in America is a disgrace, with few exceptions. It’s abysmal.

I am a news junkie. My small experience in working for the news department at my university’s radio station has increased my appreciation for good reporting, which is one of the most important things in the world.

In the film “Spotlight”, we see the power of good journalism and the incredibly moral influence it can have. Pursuing the truth at all costs is as noble as it gets. And it’s hard.

Journalists put themselves in danger for the truth. They travel across the world to war zones and third world countries. They hold the powerful accountable. They ask the hard questions. They filter through the noise.

But the days of Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow, Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, and Dan Rather (despite how you may feel about the events around his resignation) are over.

The trust between the people and their television journalists is practically gone. And for good reason.

There are obviously still sources of television journalism that have integrity, like 60 Minutes and PBS. But these are no longer the core of the tv news world; it’s now the 24/7 major news channels like CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC.

The problem is, they aren’t really news.
FOX News and MSNBC are partisan and foolish in their own ways. They cater to their base that is politically swayed right and left.

But CNN, which I believe tries to be down the middle politically, is the worst of the three.

It’s a shame, because CNN could be the best, but they continuously sell themselves out.

The 2016 election exemplifies this.

Donald Trump is a creation of Tea Party zealots and the media, plain and simple. Channels like CNN have people arguing and scratching their heads, asking how Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee.

They can’t recognize that they have spearheaded the drama that has stuck to Trump like glue and made people attracted to him. For the past year, CNN has become the Trump channel.

CNN will back out of a televised interview with the President of the United States, talking about his Supreme Court nominee at the university where he taught Constitutional law, in order to have more talking heads arguing about Trump for ratings.

Channels like CNN are entertainment channels with a few moments of journalism.

Documentaries on CNN can be informative and interesting. But everything else is straight drama. It’s either Trump, the 2016 rat race drama, or war. Drama, fear, and more drama. Whatever it takes to get ratings.

President Obama, at the White House Correspondents Dinner, said that “Spotlight” was “the best fantasy film since “Star Wars”. He also said “Jake Tapper left journalism for CNN”. There is truth in the humor, and everyone in that room probably knew it.

CSPAN is also the butt of a lot of jokes, but it’s actually closer to what political news should be.

It’s incredibly objective, allows for the voices of the general public, and lets speeches/interviews play out for however long they need to.


Photo Credit: llee_wu/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Watching a recent congressional hearing on CSPAN about what to do with Guantanamo Bay was more exciting and informative than anything I’ve seen on CNN all year.

Watching 30 minutes of Charlie Rose discuss politics is more educational than weeks of CNN.

And listening to the populace is more interesting than any campaign spokesman CNN has had on their programs repetitively. Is CNN really hoping for interesting and nuanced answers from spokespeople that are on the campaign’s payroll?

There are times where 24/7 news can be valuable, like for broadcasting primary and election results, and when there is breaking news.

However, CNN ruins this too, because they seem to be in a perpetual state of breaking news.

The clip from a debate the night before is not breaking news.

Breaking news should be saved for rare moments when something is currently unfolding and has profound implications. That’s Journalism 101, Day 1, and it’s also common sense.

The candidates and politicians watch the media. It influences their own behavior in ways that I believe are not always apparent.

For example, I am convinced that the tone and conduct of the Republican debates was largely created by the dramas and tensions of the media. Of course, Trump also had a great deal to do with this, but he is himself little more than a cable personality.

The candidates, above all, are responsible, but the news media should be above the fray instead basking in it. Covering Trump’s tweets for an entire day does not serve anyone- it is lazy and boring.

I am not above fault. In fact, I watch the 24/7 political media because it can be entertaining, and I feel guilty about it.

The Trump phenomenon is fascinating, and CNN knows that.

But there needs to be more integrity, accountability, and responsibility from the 24/7 news networks.

They are more powerful than they’d like to admit.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: llee_wu/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

This Video Shows Why People Hate Local TV News Sometimes

Typically, I would take this space to write 300 meaningless words that you would probably skip because you clicked on this post to watch a video.

So I’m not going to waste any of your time and just post the link of a Cleveland TV station stalking Browns QB Johnny Manziel in the dumbest tv package we have seen in a long time.


Yep, that’s right. A great reporter was forced to wait out in front of Manziel’s home because he may or may not be an alcoholic. HAHAHAHAHA. Oh wait, that is literally none of our business.

Clearly the guy has some real issues going on right now in his life.

Who would wear a disguise and sneak away to Las Vegas less than 24 hours before his team played their last game of the season?

Someone with a real drinking problem would do that.

But let’s stand in his yard anyway because there is probably nothing else happening in Cleveland that is worth covering.

Cover Photo Credit: WEWS NewsChannel5/ Youtube (Screengrab)

Kim Badawi: The Stories Behind The Lens

With every click of his camera, Kim Badawi captures the untold stories of the human experience.

Because of a series of tweets, his role as the artful observer was reversed, thrusting him into the media spotlight and unearthing all that is to be admired about the photojournalist.

Badawi was recently traveling from Brazil to Miami to be reunited with his family and friends for the holidays. Upon entering Miami International Airport, he was detained for 10 hours without being allowed to contact his partner who was awaiting his release to board another flight.

Confused and distraught, he was forced to justify his personal contacts, emails, photos and whatsapp messages dating back to 10 years ago. He articulated the officers lacked sensitivity and reason during the investigation.

TSA officers were asked numerous times by Badawi if he needed to contact a lawyer, but they insisted that he would not be with them much longer.

After the officers discovered he was of Arab decent, they began to probe Badawi, an American citizen, about his religious practices.

“Me and my partner have suffered nightmares of being in an airport after the whole ordeal,” Badawi told Rise News. “The next day I woke up hoping that none of the things that occurred had actually happened.”

Read More: American Photojournalist Interrogated For 10 Hours In Miami Airport Because He Was Of Arab Descent

Though Badawi was unlawfully detained in the United States, he has a long history of telling narratives of those searching for freedom through his photographs.

He stumbled into photojournalism while staying with his grandparents in Egypt where coincidentally the Tahrir uprising was gaining force.

Badawi was already a well-known international photographer at the time but had little experience in journalism. His phone started to ring with calls begging for photographs on the frontlines as Egyptians revolted for a new and just government

“During the revolution, the people, especially the younger generation, really felt like anything was possible,” Badawi said.

LOOK: The Egyptian revolution through the lens of Kim Badawi

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By timing and chance, Badawi was catapulted into the world of photojournalism.

He jokes that his career has evolved through stories adventitiously unfolding once he arrives in a new country.

Recently Badawi has been developing a photography project focusing on Syrian refugees in Brazil.

The globetrotting photographer captures the sensitivity of each moment as the refugees enter and adapt to their new home. He describes the clash of two worlds as the refugees struggle with the relaxed and youthful country of Brazil that is in juxtaposition to the conservative and religious state of Syria.

Through his project, he also realized a troubling truth about the younger generation of Syria.

“They reminisce about places and people as if they were much older than they are,” Badawi said.

As Badawi tells it, for the refugees he has met, cafes, stores, and even homes that held sentimental meaning are now but distant memories of what was. Now they have found refuge in an unfamiliar country, left to pick of the pieces of their fragmented lives.

Badawi said that he understands that Syria’s past and the refugees themselves have been misrepresented in today’s media. He is hopeful that through his photography he can educate the masses through honest portrayals of what it looks and feels like to be a refugee.

Badawi may have found media attention through his unfortunate experience at the Miami airport but the real headlining story lies with how this photographer is impacting the perception of the Middle East.

Through outlets such as CNN, Le Monde, and The Wall Street Journal, Badawi has reintroduced viewers to the high intensity situations that flood the media through portraits of humans attempting to live normal lives amongst the chaos and conflict.

Have a news tip? Send it to [email protected] Like to write? You can become a Rise News contributor.  

New York Times Runs An Editorial On Front Page For First Time In 95 Years

For the first time since 1920, The New York Times, has published an editorial on its front page.

In a historic move for the nation’s “newspaper of record”, the Times published a piece simply titled as the “Gun Epidemic” in its coveted A1 spot.

The editorial calls for the United States to take concrete action to push through gun control measures.

“It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency,” the piece, authored by the whole of the Times editorial board read. “These are weapons of war, barely modified and deliberately marketed as tools of macho vigilantism and even insurrection.”

The piece went on to say that the United States is not even trying to address the issue of gun violence, unlike other developed nations like the UK, France and Norway.

“Certain kinds of weapons, like the slightly modified combat rifles used in California, and certain kinds of ammunition, must be outlawed for civilian ownership,” the piece read. “It is possible to define those guns in a clear and effective way and, yes, it would require Americans who own those kinds of weapons to give them up for the good of their fellow citizens.”

In a separate article that also ran in the Times today, reporter Ravi Somaiya delved into the historical nature of the decision to run an editorial on the front page.

As Somaiya reported, the decision went all the way to the top- publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.

“Even in this digital age, the front page remains an incredibly strong and powerful way to surface issues that demand attention,” Sulzberger was quoted as saying regarding the decision. “And, what issue is more important than our nation’s failure to protect its citizens?”

LOOK: Front page of The New York Times, Saturday 12-5-2015.

Cover Photo Credit: Twitter/New York Times (Screen-grab).

SOUR: Thousands Sign Online Petition Calling For CNN To Drop Don Lemon

Don Lemon is one of the most controversial figures in modern media today.

A talented broadcaster and solid interviewer, Lemon also is not afraid to mix his journalism with a healthy dose of opinion from time to time.

And it turns out that lots of people on the Internet don’t like him at all.

An online petition calling for CNN to fire Lemon has already racked up 17 thousand virtual signatures in less than 24 hours.

“Since the tragic incident of Trayvon Martin, Mr. Don Lemon has consistently antagonized and defamed the characteristics of the African-American race on the national scale in mass communications,” a statement attached to the petition reads. “From the holding of the ‘N’ word sign before the national audience, to his most recent comments of the unfortunate incident where a student was removed from their chair like a rag-doll by an officer, Mr. Lemon has avoided the obvious to blatantly state that an attack on the African-American race is real and that real solutions need to take place.”

The most recent outcry regarding Lemon came after he made controversial remarks indicating that he wanted more context before passing judgement on a South Carolina cop who slammed a teenage girl in a classroom.

More from Jamell Henderson, the organizer of the petition: 

“We, the people want a journalist and an anchor that will not be afraid to accept the facts that are occurring within the African-American community and who will encourage our people the same way that person will encourage others across the board. We, the people, have no confidence in Mr. Lemon’s ability to do that,therefore we are asking CNN to remove him from his position.”

Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? (No matter how big or small!) Send it to us- [email protected] 

Cover Photo Credit: Neon Tommy/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Rise News Announces New Editor-In-Chief

Setareh Baig, a journalist from Weston, Florida has been named Rise News’s editor-in-chief.

Baig graduated from Florida State University last month, where she led the school newspaper the FSView and Florida Flambeau to impressive growth and increased journalistic excellence.

A rising star in the field, Baig boasts a diverse work background that has provided her great insight in how to organize young writers into producing great pieces of  journalism.

Baig was lauded for her leadership during a campus shooting last November. In a tough judgement call, Baig and her team decided to not print the name of the shooter because of the potential impact on the still shocked campus community. It was a decision widely applauded on campus and in the greater Tallahassee area.

Rise News is a globally-focused grassroots journalism outlet that launched on August 31. It is owned by Rise News Group LLC, a Miami based company.

Over 100 of the best young journalists from around the world (including places like the United Kingdom, Canada and Egypt) are involved with the project. The company aims to increase that number to around 1,000 by the end of the year.

Baig said that she was excited about the opportunity to lead a globally focused organization.

“I’m excited to lead Rise News because we get to cover stories from everywhere,” Baig said. “On the Internet, you get all these perspectives, but sometimes you have to sift through the fluff to get to the stuff you really want to see. You have to seek it out yourself.”

Baig’s addition is a major development in the growth of the nascent media company.

“Our goal is to totally change the game and become the greatest source of news in the world for our generation,” Rise News CEO and Publisher Rich Robinson said. “Setareh is the missing piece that we needed to make this ambitious dream into a reality. With her, we can build something really special and important.”

Baig’s task is a immense one. She will be in charge of Rise News’ editorial content and in helping turn it into a global news organization – one with high standards.

“We are not building another clickbait site or something exploitive here,” Robinson said. “Setareh has a very traditional sense of journalistic values and some really innovative ideas on how to quickly build an audience of smart and urbane millennials.”

Baig said that she was excited about introducing the Rise News audience to new issues and places that aren’t covered by traditional news organizations.

“If we could find voices from the depths of a place we’ve never head of, then I would love that,” Baig said.

For press requests, please email [email protected]

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