Bring back the I on CNNi!

For the past more than thirty years, CNN’s international counterpart has been delivering the biggest news from anywhere around the globe to its worldwide audience. It was my primary source of international top stories since I was a kid, but there is something different with the cable news network’s worldwide counterpart right now, and it bugs me to disappointment: the distance with its domestic counterpart 

Prioritizing the simulcast of CNN/U.S. on most of the rolling breaking stories both in the United States and across the world

This dilemma started a few years ago, when Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 disappeared from radar. Every news organization is at it not just for a few days, but weeks. CNN is the most talked about network as it delivered every teeny-tiny information hour-by-hour, day-by-day, with the “breaking news” banner appearing endlessly since the aircraft disappeared. Most of these coverage were simulcasted to CNNi. Nowadays, when there is a rolling coverage especially when terror strikes Europe, U.S. and other parts of the world, they’ll always hook-up with CNN/U.S. and tag it as a “team-coverage” because the coverage has been always monopolized to them.

Mostly All-American perspective

Live news on CNNi has been always done in CNN’s different U.S. bureaus primarily in Atlanta, New York, & Los Angeles. With that, most of their on-air analysts & guests (especially when the top story is the 2016 race for the White House) are Americans. Most worrying is from “CNN Today”, which is tagged as an asian breakfast show but airing live from Atlanta, and “Newsroom L.A.” which is covering more U.S. stories than ever which is really surreal for me as an Asian viewer. With the upcoming general election debates and election night coverage this fall, basically, this makes CNNi the Halloween costume of CNN/U.S.

Less exposure for international bureaus most especially in Hong Kong & London

Since most of the live broadcasts are coming from the United States, prominent International bureaus in London & Europe only gets 30 (Newsroom from London)-45 (News Stream in HK) minutes of airtime every weekdays. Then Atlanta or New York takes over the weekend with much shorter live 30m broadcast in select hours.

2016 U.S. Presidential Race > International coverage

One must be surprised why the Trump & Clinton feud is always the leading story on almost every bulletin & newscast. CNNi is devoting much of its airtime for the 2016 race that’s why they’ve been hooking up for CNN/U.S. for live coverage of the primaries, debates, DNC and RNC. They could even allot a 30m airtime to cover the “State of the Race” with no analysis on how will the race affect the international audience and the people from different parts of the world overall.

Asian viewers get heavier U.S. coverage every weekday mornings

Starting from “CNN Today”, then goes Domestic’s “AC360” and “CNN Tonight” (at times, the whole CNN/U.S. primetime slot when breaking news happens). The London bureau asleep during this time is the reason why we’ve been getting a morning U.S. news fix on an international-based news network. How can CNNi compete with BBC World News et al if they can only deliver news that caters mostly American people?

With the rumors saying CNNi will move to London amid the news of the CNN Center in Atlanta, the place where the first 24/7 news network in the world was born, is to be sold as the network is slowly moving their resources to New York, one could be dreaming that CNNi shifts its focus to its international audience. Turner should invest more to CNNi to get the best of its international coverage that was seen a number of years ago, tarnished by the heavy U.S.-centric coverage. I’m happy that their feature programs still cater the best the world has to offer but please, live news should be dedicated more to its international audience. Do not let that distance with CNN/U.S. get nearer and nearer.

Source: CNN Atlanta to be sold? from FTVLive, image from


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