Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Quest Me

CNN International is a highly-recommended news channel for those sick to death of the low-quality news peddled stateside.

Why are they better? First and foremost, there's an almost total lack of punditry. Total. There are no Glenn Becks, no Keith Olbermanns, no Rush Limbaughs. Nobody seeking to make a name for themselves by screaming louder than the next guy. After all, you're broadcasting to a global audience. Whatever it is you're yelling about may play in your home country, but your home country isn't the only one watching.

Imagine Glenn Beck in this environment, doing what he normally does, which these days seems to be making flow charts on chalkboards half-crying about how Barack Obama is under the employ of George Soros or SEIU or whatever. (Interestingly enough, I have no idea what George Soros even does for a living. He could be a Japanese game show host for all I know.) This kind of thing clearly plays to someone in Alabama that can follow the flowchart. But people in Turkey and the Philippines and Nigeria and Peru and Indonesia are watching as well, and they don't know what in blazes Beck is even talking about. For all they know, BECK could be a Japanese game show host.

The CNN US entities that get on the International channel, by the way, are Anderson Cooper 360, the Situation Room, Larry King Line, and Fareed Zakaria GPS.

The other thing about them is that they have to be- and are- ready at any hour to drop whatever it is they're doing and go to breaking news. There is no mentality of clocking out at 5 PM and letting the world burn until morning. There might be on an individul basis, but 5 PM in one place is 9 AM somewhere else. And with four studios in New York, London, Dubai and Hong Kong, someone's awake to cover whatever it is.

That said, it's not without its faults. Along with regularly-scheduled programming, there is a variety of rotating 'special' programs airing once every couple weeks. Which means until they broke in to cover the latest UN sanctions against Iran, a CNN International viewer was being treated to the journalistic stylings of Richard Quest.

Specifically, these journalistic stylings.

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