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Is CNN becoming more balanced in its coverage?

by | Sep 21, 2022

By Laura Echevarria, Director of Communications and Press Secretary

CNN’s new CEO Chris Licht is shaking things up at CNN and with good reason. CNN’s ratings have dropped considerably over the years, and this is due to the lack of balance in CNN’s coverage and the inability of CNN’s previous leadership to recognize this as an issue. As the new CNN CEO pointed out, nearly all of CNN’s correspondents and anchors have taken on roles more like commentators than journalists. 

According to NPR, 

Since joining the network in May, Licht has made clear what he doesn’t like about CNN: Too many reporters and anchors act as analysts and commentators, he told associates. Too many commentators simply pump up the volume.

It’s ratings cratering, CNN’s new CEO needed to make changes. Licht was hired by David Zaslav, the CEO of CNN’s new parent company Warner Bros Discovery. Zaslav and Warner Bros. Discovery’s single largest investor, John Malone, have both expressed a desire to see CNN return to a more middle-of-the-road type of reporting.  

In an interview with CNBC, John Malone said, 

I would like to see CNN evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with and, you know, actually have journalists which would be unique and refreshing. 

Even at its roots, CNN has always been hostile to pro-lifers, but the hostility was found in a bias that seeped into its reporting. However, that hostility was not as overt as it is today. But, since the new CEO’s arrival, pro-lifers have seen an uptick in more balanced and less hostile reporting. 

For example, a CNN reporter covering National Right to Life’s convention also reported on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision and NRLC staff were surprised at how balanced the article was considering how biased CNN reporting had become over the years. While we don’t expect favorable pieces on the pro-life movement, we always hope for balanced coverage which has become more difficult to find over the years. 

Licht’s house cleaning is welcome news.

Recently let go from CNN was Brian Stelter, the host of Reliable Sources, who was often lambasted in conservative media for his obvious liberal ideology as well as White House correspondent John Harwood, who, according to NPR, “Licht told colleagues, brought more insight than original reporting.”

Is the house cleaning at CNN going to result in a fully balanced network? It’s hard to say. Licht, for example, is keeping uber-liberal Don Lemon, whom he refers to as “a highly talented broadcaster.” 

However Lemon is being moved from his key evening host slot to a morning show slot that he will now share with Poppy Harlow and Chief White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins. Collins used to work for The Daily Caller which was founded by Fox News’s Tucker Carlson. Collins will act as a co-host and chief correspondent for the morning show. 

What is good news is that CNN’s new CEO recognizes something that Americans have long known but many reporters and journalists ignore: today’s mass media has lost the trust of the American people. 

It will take work—and balanced reporting—to restore it. 

Categories: Media Bias
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