Monthly Archives: July 1996

CNN, Atlanta and the Olympics

<retrieved from usenet archives>

From: (Richard Evans)
Subject: CNN,  Atlanta and the Olympics
Date: 1996/07/28
Message-ID: <>#1/1
X-Deja-AN: 170660942
organization: MindSpring Enterprises
followup-to: atl.general
newsgroups: atl.general,mindspring.discussion

In the weeks leading up to the Olympics games I grew increasingly
frustrated with CNN’s coverage.   The focus was on the threat of
terrorism,  security and other potential problems.  While I could
understand CNN not wanting to show bias toward their home city,  it
seemed they were going out of their way to give the games a negative

The day following the spectacular opening ceremonies I couldn’t
believe the CNN headlines were still focused on security issues.  The
spirit of 192 nations united for peaceful competition was not
newsworthy,  but the mere threat of terrorism was a lead story.  Is it
any surprise someone took it into their head to disrupt the event?

Finally CNN had something real to report.  An actual bomb (even it was
a bit primitive).   The news network was quick to hype the story with
a lead-in graphic, “The Bombing at Olympic Park”.   Also,  at last,
there was some mention of the spirit of the games — there was no way
to ignore the fact that this incident had little impact on the event
schedule or attendance.   Yet I believe CNN would have been happier
with the bigger story if the IOC had decided to pack up and go home.

Perhaps there’s a method to the madness.  Maybe CNN knows their
audience well enough to know that negative reporting attracts more
viewers.   If so that’s much more frightening than the pipe bomb.

(mindspring follow-ups directed to atl.general)

“We move from terror and loss to unexpected good fortune,  and out of
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