Demand News Outlets Diversify and Deliver Enhanced World Coverage

Target: Jeff Zucker, President of CNN Worldwide

Goal: Broaden news coverage to include a wider range of issues and people.

Over one billion people on Earth cannot drink a cup of clean water. This is one of the countless realities that we as citizens of the world should know. Yet we do not. Studies have shown time and again that most Americans could not even pass the basic test required of immigrants to this country. Knowledge about the many people, cultures, and issues that populate our globe is even more sorely lacking. Few would dispute that we live in a country divided, plagued social problems such as racism that make these fractures deeper. Knowledge is power, however. Many of these seemingly insurmountable chasms could begin to heal if we as societies truly made the effort to know and understand more of our world. The media, society’s purported torchbearers of knowledge for centuries, could help light the way.

Turn on any news station and what will you likely see? Hour upon hour of political coverage and commentary. With the news cycle’s intensive focus on immersing its viewers in the latest political debates, precious time is lost in covering the many other issues of import to this country and to the world. We miss invaluable opportunities to learn about what happens and what matters in other parts of the world, or even in neighboring states. Unrelenting political coverage may get ratings, but it does a disservice to viewers who rely on news programs for information. Terrorist attacks, shootings, and natural disasters also get their share of coverage, but within days, if not hours, these stories are sidelined or diluted by political analysis. Other newsworthy items— including important stories relating to human rights, environmental rights, and animal rights—receive scant mention. Empowering, positive stories from around the world that might provide us insights into people and topics with which we are unfamiliar are in even shorter supply.

In the era of 24-hour news, more time can and should be devoted to broader, more diverse news coverage. Sign the petition below and encourage one of America’s most prominent news networks to introduce its viewers to more of the world we call home.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Zucker,

In the past day, how much of the news coverage from your network and your competitors would you say was devoted to politics? What about the past month, or the past year? While politics is undeniably an important element in the fabric of our societies, it is not our only concern.

For decades and centuries, individuals the world over have relied on journalists as their liaisons—sometimes their sole connections—to the world. You have helped viewers see people and places beyond their own communities, and you faithfully catalogued humanity’s greatest achievements and its most impactful tragedies. Whether shining a spotlight on egregious human rights abuses, giving voice to activists of all backgrounds and ideologies, celebrating heroic acts large and small, or simply showing us that at their core our cultures may not be so different after all, you have been the world’s ambassador.

Somewhere along the way, you seemingly abandoned this mission in favor of 24-hour political analysis and opinion. In a world so divided, we need knowledge, we need real connection, and we need news that reflects and embraces all of our world. Please reaffirm your mission by expanding your news coverage to encompass the topics, the people, and the stories that inform our present and future.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit:  Dawn Hudson

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236 Signatures

  • William Edelman
  • NANCY BILLINGS
  • Susan Probert
  • Maria Scholl
  • Christine Baker
  • Liz Cooper
  • Lisa Wolfe
  • Barbara Hargrove
  • Hendricka Samytowski
  • Zhea Zarecor
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