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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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