I make fun of the major cable news networks a lot, sometimes even devoting entire posts to their amusing errors. I’m also fairly dismissive of the way they put sensationalism and minutiae over real news and events which affect millions of people. I think it’d be nice if the American consumer demanded more from their news sources.
But in the interest of fair play, I should also recognize when news organizations are doing a particularly good job highlighting big issues, educating the public about the world outside their familiar communities, or otherwise providing high quality journalism that would be impossible to replicate on blogs or Twitter. There are reasons these organizations are filled with talented professionals and given large budgets–and those reasons are not celebrity obituaries or hours of uninformed analysis about politicians’ wardrobes.
CNN.com has been putting out some really great reporting lately, and I thought it worthy of recognition. A few examples:
- This investigative report on the state of slavery in Mauritania is truly exceptional. It’s well-written, well-researched, and the photographs are as compelling as both the personal stories and larger statistics. A small team of professionals literally risked their lives to bring to light information about one of slavery’s last bastions on this planet, and I consider their undertaking nothing less than a significant service to humanity.
- This story of escaped North Koreans provides a badly needed human narrative and perspective to the increasingly important discussion about dealing with dictatorships. It’s important to remember that an entire country led by a dictator cannot be our enemy. The United States and the citizens of North Korea have, in fact, the same enemy.
- And of course, CNN.com continues to be one of the world leaders in Pi Day coverage.