CNN.com’s Homepage U.S. Centered

Posted by Marissa Mumfordcnn-logo

Lately, CNN.com’s homepage has been reminiscent of a teenager’s Twitter feed after a bad breakup: me, me, me. CNN.com is American news for American people.

Credit to Julia Folsom (https://www.flickr.com/photos/jfolsom/4870031933/in/photolist-8qmbPP-9ZG9qL-bEo9T4/) Licensed under Creative Commons

Credit to Julia Folsom
Licensed under Creative Commons

CNN.com has been my go-to source for news ever since I moved to the United States. I don’t have to concentrate to read through verbose, lengthy paragraphs and the website is designed for easy access.

Web Analytics Company Alexa reports that CNN.com is the 16th most popular website in the United States, while cnnpressroom.com reported 2.4 billion total page views across all platforms in 2013. CNN also has 11.8 million Twitter followers. Let that sink in.

CNN.com is massively important in determining the way the average American will view current events. The website may even be the only place John Doe goes for online news and the average user spends only five minutes and six seconds on the website. His eyes scan the homepage, he clicks on two or three links that pique his interest, then he moves on.

Obviously, the ultimate decision of what to read belongs to the reader. CNN.com has no control over where the cursor will end up. However, in restricting the pool of international information available on the first and therefore most popular page, CNN.com places its user at a disadvantage.

To be fair, CNN.com does have three additional editions: International, Arabic and México. I applaud that, but these editions are precisely designed for a non-American audience. (Smacks forehead.)

Did you know Belgium just legalized euthanasia for terminally ill children – with no age limit? This is huge, world-altering news. CNN covered the story, but you’ll have to look for it. It was nowhere featured on the homepage. A few key words in the search bar were all it took to find it, but how would you know to look if CNN is the only place you go for news?

This topic would take me thousands of words to cover fully. Let me just end with this: I love American news. I love the fact that we live in a nation where there is always something newsworthy happening and always freedom to write about it. But let’s face it. We are not the center of the universe.

So, give it to me straight. Is this just the French independent thinker in me speaking, or is CNN.com a US-fest? Should CNN.com’s homepage provide more international news? Is American news  all the American people need?

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4 responses to “CNN.com’s Homepage U.S. Centered

  1. You hit the nail on the head with CNN. I rely on CNN only to get the equivalent of the USAToday-type headlines that I need to get started for the day. For more of a global view, I waste not one second heading on over to BBC or Al-Jazeera. I think CNN is attempting to get onto the bandwagon of becoming more of a global news source, but there is a definite Americanized news stigma associated with CNN. This is another website that is undergoing a process of evolving with the with the ever-changing Internet media environment. You’re right. We could go on and on with this for hours. In CNN’s defense, the website is currently headlining the civil unrest and turmoil in Kiev (but with a CNN reporter caught in the attack). Coincidence?

  2. We definitely need more international news and I feel that topics such as the euthanasia in Belgium is sort of a big deal and it shouldn’t be “hidden”. I rely on CNN for a large chunk of the news I consume and I agree that they do make is a US-fest most of the time. I do feel that as an American I do want to know what is going on here in America but I also feel that a global sense of what is happening out there is very much important. I do see international news covered on other media outlets more often but it would be nice to watch CNN evolve and do the same.

  3. CNN has a very “Americanized” stigma attached to it as you have pointed out. I agree that average viewers who scan CNN’s headlines will not see anything out of the states, and like Brian included, would turn somewhere else to get that form of international news. I agree that CNN needs to push international news into their webpage before it loses its credibility as a diverse news source.

  4. Thanks for the feedback you guys! I’m kind of relieved I’m not the only one to have noticed this issue. Avery, your point about CNN losing credibility is fascinating, I hadn’t thought of that. CNN seems like such a present fixture in American news that it’s hard to think of it ever going away, but hopefully it will change for the better.

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