CNN stands for Cable News Network. This is a major news network founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Since its debut, CNN has widened its reach to a number of satellite and cable television networks. CNN was the first network to provide 24 hour television news coverage as well as the first news network in the United States. They primarily broadcast from its headquarters at the CNN Center in Atlanta, New York City and Washington D.C and Los Angeles studios though it has a number of affiliates. Time Warner is the owner of CNN.
Sometimes to distinguish the North American channel from CNN international, CNN is referred to as CNN/US. Over 93 million U.S. households currently have access to CNN. The Network has been rated as the second most watched cable news network in the United States with the most exclusive viewers.
When the Space Shuttle Challenger was launched and later exploded, CNN was the only television network to provide live coverage of the event. The television network was on location when an 18 month old toddler fell down a well in midland Texas. These as well as other major events helped to catapult CNN in establishing themselves as a reliable and reputable television network. Consequently, during the gulf war CNN was the only news network to communicate from inside Iraq during the initial hours of the Coalition bombing campaign bringing live coverage from Baghdad. This Gulf war occurrence made CNN very popular as well as its reporters.
Pentagon officials later coined the phrase “the CNN effect” to depict real-time 24 hour news report on the American government’s decision making processes. Historically, CNN was the first network to announce the September 11 attacks. Prior to the US Presidential elections in 2008, CNN faithfully delivered large amounts of coverage to politics. CNN also hosted the debates of the candidates during the Republican and Democratic primary seasons. The first presidential debates were hosted in 2007 and the format the network used was to allow viewers to pose questions via YouTube’s video sharing service on the internet. Subsequently in 2008 through a partnership with The Los Angeles Times, two primary debates were hosted. Through CNN’s coverage of the debate as well as election night, the network experienced its highest ratings of the year.
December 2008 saw a revolution to CNN’s on-air presentation as a new graphics package was introduced. The network also launched its news website CNN.com which has drawn a wide cross section of people over its first ten years; today it is one of the most visited news websites in the world. CNN.com was also ranked third place among online global news sites in unique users in the US in April 2009.