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Former ABC News Chief David Westin On What TV News ‘Doesn’t Cover’

Former ABC News president David Westin writes in The Huffington Post about CNN’s coverage of the Carnival Triumph disaster, and what it says about the state of TV news coverage.

Westin argued that the Triumph was a story worth covering, and doesn’t fault CNN for giving it more airtime than its competition. Rather he argues, “the problem isn’t with what TV news covers, it’s with what it doesn’t cover. Or doesn’t cover nearly enough.”

Specifically, he says there should be more stories from war zones like Syria, and places often cut off from western society like North Korea and the Congo.

What’s more, it’s a story that can be told well on television. Some TV reporters have shown us this, as did my former colleague, Clarissa Ward, who recently received an Alfred I. Dupont Award for her reporting on Syria for CBS News. In fairness, the other national TV news organizations have reported intermittently from and about Syria. But none has shown the kind of enthusiasm and follow-through that we saw when it came to the cruise to nowhere in the Gulf of Mexico.

As it happens Westin’s former employee at ABC, “Nightline” anchor Terry Moran, is currently reporting from inside Syria, with another report from Damascus set to air tonight.

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