Wednesday, December 1, 2010

CNN International: Connecting the world

Have you ever wanted to see what's possible when you seek a world beyond your own?  Take the world of international news, for instance.  Sometimes, you just need to know where to look.

Becky Anderson, host of CNN International's Connect the World. 

"News isn't just about what you see on TV," says Becky Anderson, host of Connect the World, a nightly prime-time program originating from CNN's London bureau.  In an advertisement for the world-wide TV network, CNN International, she adds: "It's about connecting the world with different views and new discoveries."

Whether reporting from bureaux in London, Abu Dhabi or Hong Kong, CNN International's on-going mission ~ its raison d'etre ~ is all about going beyond borders to report the day's biggest stories. "Go beyond the impossible," is one of CNN International's current slogans.

I'm happy to report that CNN International delivers its news and information brand in an intelligent ~ albeit sometimes irreverent ~ manner and, unlike their American cousin, CNN (based in Atlanta), the international version keeps their opinions in check.

I recently discovered a reliable Internet link to watch CNN International.  I invite you to check it out and see for yourself.  You just might come away with a fresh and different perspective about the news.

Last week, while the U.S. awaited Bristol Palin's fate in Dancing With the Stars, some of the biggest stories CNN International covered in depth included:
* the NATO Summit in Lisbon;
* the saga and tragedy of the New Zealand coal mining disaster;
* the unfolding of Ireland's economic crisis.

CNN International recently featured an exclusive interview
with Myanmar pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi. 

The international network also trumpeted an exclusive, 23-minute interview with recently released Myanmar pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.  Highlights of the interview (which first aired on Nov. 19) were packaged and shown throughout the day on several of CNN International's news programs, including: International Desk, Prism and News One.

This week, there's been plenty of ongoing coverage on CNN International about:
* the WikiLeaks disclosure of secret U.S. diplomatic documents;
* the winter weather blast hitting the United Kingdom and western Europe;
* World AIDS Day activities.

Hala Gorani hosts International Desk on CNN International.

Whether focusing on politics, technology, infrastructure, architecture, or the arts, CNN International covers many different but important bases very well.  Call it an exercise in expanding one's horizons.  Among its many monthly, featured programs which "go beyond borders" are:  Talk Asia, Urban Planet, I-List, Icons, Inside the Middle East, Business Traveller, Going Green and Earth's Frontiers.  On the current, 30-minute episode of Earth's Frontiers, one of the program's segments focused on how to balance commerce and conservation in Australian wilderness tourism areas.

While CNN International enjoys a great amount of autonomy from CNN Center headquarters in Atlanta, it's programming also includes American favorites such as Larry King Live and Anderson Cooper 360, as well as Wolf Blitzer's The Situation Room, some of them airing live others pre-recorded. Also, its news programs air some of the same news stories and utilize some of the same field reporters that appear on the U.S. version of CNN.

Richard Quest hosts the lively business program Quest Means Business.

One of CNN International's signature programs is Quest Means Business, a nightly one-hour business news program that originates in London and is hosted by Richard Quest.  On Quest Means Business, the lively and talkative host gets to the right people, asks the right questions, and ~ not surprisingly ~ all at the right time.  Quest Means Business airs at 19:00 in London (2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT).  Over the course of an hour, it's not uncommon for the bespoke-attired Quest to weave together interviews and stories that combine elements of business, politics, lifestyle and sport.  Unfortunately, it's a program you won't see on CNN in the U.S., which is too bad.  I think Quest would play well for an American audience.  Who doesn't like an English accent?  Still, you've got to admire a host whose regular sign-off each weekday evening is catchy, if not memorable: "Whatever you're up to in the coming hours, I hope it's profitable."

At CNN International, even the weather has a world perspective.

After watching several hours of CNN International programming over the past couple of weeks, it's easy to get hooked on it, not only for its quality and its voice, but also its cultural perspective.  And, there's something pretty amazing about seeing an international weather forecast that includes Iceland, Turkey and Vietnam, too.  Plus, the commercials it airs are much more interesting and informative, from advertisers such as the Qatar Foundation, Turkish Airlines, Unido and South Korea's 2022 World Cup bid.

The differences between CNN International and CNN U.S. are clear and evident.  For one, CNN International isn't driven by ratings and, for the most part, its programs are the stars not its presenters ~ except, maybe, for Richard Quest.  Also, CNN International is not a politically slanted brand, like Fox News or MSNBC, because it's not in the business of covering all things U.S.A. or acting as a political mouthpiece or operative. Instead, it's a world-wide network watched by English-speaking citizens and travelers of the world, who happen to be in or reside in places such as Sydney, Doha, Helsinki and Paris.

CNN International wants us to Go Beyond Borders.

CNN International is a risk-taker, willing and able to air longer, in-depth, relevant pieces that deliver a different angle on the news.  It's news for the thinking-person, English-speaking world that's beamed around the planet 24/7/365.  Always there.

Yes, understanding the world is within our grasp.  Sometimes, you just have to go beyond borders.

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