Leslie Ann Tripathy
Founded in 1980 by Ted Turner, Cable News Network, generally referred as CNN, is now one of the major English Language Television Networks. It was the first broadcasting station to present 24-hour television news coverage. CNN launched its news website CNN.com (initially known as CNN Interactive) on August 30, 1995.
In October 2009 CNN.com introduced a new website design (http://edition.cnn.com/#fbid=sF0HsV2CXdb), making number of major changes to their information-heavy layout, revamping it by adding a new "sign up" option where users can create their own user name, a new "CNN Pulse" (beta) feature along with a new elegant red color theme with the power logo of CNN standing stylishly in white along with the world map, which changes according to the edition one chooses amidst edition preferences. However, most of the news archived on the website has been deleted.
The previous design was somewhat cluttered and not very inviting; the content looked liked it was being forced into an unstructured space. The new layout is very different and embraces a number of modern web design, usability best practices and trends. The new design is beautiful, clean, organized and well-structured. It invites the eye to scan and find something interesting with the goal of clicking through to another page. We find the website very easy to use, as everything is neatly sectioned off. The main selection panel is found at the top of the website, it covers all beats bringing in headlines, business, sports, entertainment, iReport, tech, travel, video and news stories under heads Europe, Asia, Africa, etal. The centre of the webpage highlights top stories.
The second half of the homepage has ‘Editor’s Choice’ with Highlights and Connectors which are in video format. Latest updates from Environment, market, weather. It also has snazzy sections informing user schedules of CNN’s tv (which has the most amazing journalists working from all parts of the planet) and has webpolls and newsalerts encouraging user interaction through RSS feeds, Twitter , Facebook (for which it has a separate section ‘popular on facebook’), blogs and mobile phones. It recently launched free of charge application in and outside of the U.S, to provide a visually-driven news experience for iPhone and iPod touch users who demand accessibility and convenience. CNN.com also seeks viewers participation in nominating an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to help others in its yearly special event CNN Heroes, hosted by Anderson Cooper.
CNN’s iReport.com has pioneered a trend in citizen journalism, which features user-submitted photos and video. The first picture of Haiti earth quake was from iReport by a viewer.
Coverage of the first Gulf War and other crises of the early 1990s led officials at the Pentagon to coin the term "the CNN effect" for its 24-hour news coverage on the decision-making processes of the American government. It has largely been criticized from Middle Eastern nations, that it reports news from a pro-American perspective, calling it Corrupt News Network(CNN). It has been accused of perpetrating media bias for allegedly promoting both a conservative and a liberal agenda. Accuracy in Media and the Media Research Center have claimed that CNN's reporting contains liberal editorializing within news stories.
Whatsoever, CNN.com stands out as the mecca for breaking news for online news readers with its Iconic, Impressive, Innovative and Interactive news coverage as it continues to go beyond borders.