Target: Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide
Goal: Stop news channels from focusing on inane and irrelevant news stories
Recently, amid the shocking developments in the Ukraine, the HSBC (UK bank) drug money laundering scandal, and ongoing revelations about National Security Agency wiretapping, CNN chose to stop all other coverage in order to focus on the arrest of pop singer Justin Bieber. That day the front page of the CNN website highlighted an article about Mr. Bieber, and didn’t even mention any of these other major issues currently underway.
CNN has been criticized before for failing to live up to journalistic standards. For instance, during the Boston Marathon bombing, CNN reported that the perpetrators had been caught long before the police had even identified suspects. When pressed about these lapses in journalistic ethics, CNN’s response is that it’s not a problem because they can get away with it.
The American public is left with two options: we can completely tune out the mainstream news media and find more reliable sources online, or we can collectively demand better quality news programming. However, as much as the ‘tuning out’ option works on an individual level, there are large portions of our country who don’t know where else to look for news, and are therefore subjected to this grossly irresponsible reporting. It will be better for the country as a whole to have reliable, informative journalism in the mainstream. Sign the petition to demand that CNN reappraise their journalistic ethics and promise to focus on relevant and important issues.
Dear Mr. Zucker,
Very recently your news channel stopped their scheduled programming in order to cover the arrest of pop singer Justin Bieber. The front page of the CNN website also featured an article on Mr. Bieber, and mentioned little else. This happened amid shocking developments in the Ukraine, an ever deepening money laundering scandal with one of the largest banks in the world (HSBC), and further revelations about NSA wiretapping. Choosing to cover this utterly vapid story about a pop celebrity over some of the defining issues of this decade is so totally irresponsible that one cannot help but wonder if your news channel is deliberately distracting its viewers.
CNN has been criticized many times for failing to uphold even basic journalistic ethics, and yet you have continued on in the same manner without any attempt to improve. The truth is that younger generations have already tuned you out because they know they can find higher quality journalism online. It is quite unfortunate, however, that older generations still rely on televised news, and therefore buy into your tabloid programs. For the sake of our collective sanity and those who still trust your news channel, you must improve your journalistic standards and cover the stories that actually matter.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: hyku via Flickr