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CNN Panel: ‘Very Cynical’ to Say Media Wanted Ferguson Violence for Ratings

Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter pointed out the massive increase in ratings Monday night for the Ferguson Grand Jury announcement and its subsequent discontents, and then posed the question of a thousand comments sections: did the media want a violent reaction for more dramatic television?*

“That’s a very cynical thing to say,” George Washington School of Media and Public Affairs director Frank Sesno said. “People don’t sit around in editorial meetings at CNN or Fox or anywhere else saying, ‘We hope there’s violence so that it drives ratings up.’ But you know that something’s going to come along, and you know that that is going to drive the audience…and you have to plan accordingly.”

“If the media had not covered this, they’d have been doing an extreme disservice,” St. Louis Media History director Frank Absher said, something CNN anchor Chris Cuomo and contributor L.Z. Granderson brought up the other day.

Sesno did add that the presence of cameras specifically could have a catalytic effect on an event. “The danger with cameras is you’re not just there tracking the news and recording the news, you may be helping propel the news,” he said.

* Just gonna leave this here.

Watch the clip below, via CNN:

[Image via screengrab]

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