Last night CNN demonstrated what they do best — perform outstanding journalism in moments of crisis. With jaw-dropping imagery and seat-of-the-pants reporting under the most unimaginably difficult of circumstances, Anderson Cooper reminded viewers what real journalism is all about. Cooper demonstrated the right balance of dispassionate reporting and empathetic action while reporting/taping the rescue of a 15 year-old girl trapped under rubble.
Some have expressed concern that the rise of opinion media as a commercially dominant programming strategy has come at the cost of traditional news programs, and perhaps more importantly, the journalistic chops to tell a story both comprehensively and objectively. In fact, CNN has earned some measure of ridicule for sticking to their guns on being a “real news” outlet, while getting beaten regularly by prime-time opinion shows on Fox News and MSNBC.
But one doesn’t see Glenn Beck or Keith Olbermann reporting from the streets of Haiti (nor would we want to see that.) Perhaps we needed some distance from the hackneyed narratives and gotcha! politics that makes up most of the prime-time programming on cable news to be remind us of the importance of great reporting – an example of which can be seen in the following clip filed last night by Anderson Cooper. (Note the following video includes some graphic imagery that many may find upsetting.)
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