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Why does CNN repeat itself so often?

Have you ever noticed how much CNN covers the same story from hour to hour and day to day?

What's worse is how the networks copy each other. I know from my time at MSNBC that phenomenon isn't so phenomenal. It is coordinated, starting with the morning meeting of executive producers, and compounded by how they mimic what they see on CNN.

Unfortunately, on TV there is a grave opportunity cost because the clock is unforgiving. You can't add minutes into an hour, like newspapers or web sites can add pages. Producers are forced to make choices, which means many worthwhile, newsworthy stories get killed. (Please, tell me dear friends how Anderson Cooper justified using his lead segment -- prime real estate in primetime TV -- to discuss congressional Republicans with Anthony Scaramucci, who was Trump's communication director for all of ten days? At what expense?) That is why I say their crime of obsession is also a crime of omission.

I went looking for answers. Not all satisfying. Read them in my latest dispatch for Columbia Journalism Review.

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Feb 12, 2021

An aspect you may have not considered is repetition drives AI algorithms. Many of the trading firms trade stocks and options in milliseconds based on news feeds keywords sold by companies like Bloomberg. If one can control the news, one can control the market. For example on Thu Oct 4, 2018 Bloomberg released an article that claimed the Chinese had placed compromised code inside chips built into Supermicro's computers. Supermicro's stock dropped 50% that day. The story turned out to be fictional, but whoever had shorted the stock ahead of time, made millions. Far more than Bloomberg could have made on selling advertising. Companies that know tech, like Apple and Amazon denied the Bloomburg story had any meri…

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