Over the weekend, tempers flared over CNN‘s coverage — or lack thereof — of the Iranian election and subsequent protests. Frustrated viewers took to Twitter to voice their concern over CNN’s oversight or lack of interest in the foreign controversy, creating the hashtag #cnnfail, which was a trending topic until yesterday. (It’s no longer trending this morning, although #IranElection, Tehran and Mousavi are.)
Yesterday, our colleagues at WebNewser caught up with #cnnfail, noting that NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen had asked Washington Post media columnist Howard Kurtz, who also hosts CNN show “Reliable Sources,” to include #cnnfail in his column today.
Although Kurtz discussed the legitimacy of Twitter and whether journalists are “going overboard” with it on his show yesterday and in his column today, he completely ignored the protests taking place on the social network against the news network where he works. On Kurtz’s show, CNN’s Rick Sanchez mentioned that Twitter had helped him to more effectively cover happenings in Iran — a perfect opening for them to discuss #cnnfail.
“Last night, when…I started Twittering about what was going on in Iran, I learned as much about the situation in Iran as I would have watching frankly my network, the BBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post combined,” Sanchez said.
Kurtz’s thoughts on the issue would have been much more timely if he had discussed #cnnfail and how Twitter had become a media watchdog in this instance. Instead, in his column he talked about celebrity Twitters, and quoted actress Mariel Hemingway. Did he write his column weeks ago and never look at it again? We think he missed the boat on this one.
What do you think? How do you feel about the coverage of Iran by the news networks? Do you think Kurtz should have discussed #cnnfail?
Watch the Twitter segment from “Reliable Sources” after the jump