During a recent media summit held by Bloomberg BusinessWeek, David Kaplan of The Guardian reported on a surprising announcement CNN made concerning Facebook. Contrary to what many believe, CNN views Facebook as a bigger competitor than rival Fox News.
CNN's president Jon Klien was quoted as saying, "I'm more worried about the 500 million or so people on Facebook versus the 2 million on Fox."
Klien's concern is not unfounded. Politically polarized news outlets, like Fox News, have led the public to view all media outlets as politicized. While Facebook is not a traditional source of news, the ability for users to share articles with their friends makes the social networking site a trusted source for information. As David Kaplan stated, "on Facebook, people are depending on their friends as news sources." In fact, Facebook was recently ranked as the fourth largest driver of traffic to media and news outlets behind typical aggregators like Google and Yahoo.
Traditional news outlets have struggled in efforts to adjust their content for the Web 2.0 world. CNN proclaims to be "getting better" at bridging the gap between traditional media and the Internet, but challenges still remain.
Efforts to increase partnerships with other organizations such as Time Inc and HBO will undoubtedly broaden CNN's outreach. However, deeper problems may rest with CNN's position as a "non-partisan outlet" in a "polarised atmosphere."
The Internet has made it possible to so easy to access news from multiple sources that it is much harder for general news reporting to stand out. The popularity of Fox News is based on people's desire to hear highly partisan views, and the driving force behind sharing articles on Facebook is the chance it offers to hear and share thoughts, opinions, and commentary with others. While CNN can take pride in unbiased reporting, is it the type of news well informed readers are looking for to share with their friends?
Source: The Guardian