As the post-election situation in Iran continues to make headlines around the world, U.S. networks have been tasked with covering a story in a nation unfavorable to journalists.
Over the weekend, CNN covered the story more than the American cable news network, with 172 mentions of Iran, compared to 100 on FNC and 57 for MSNBC. But it was the Twitterverse that had a hand in pushing the storyline of a lack of coverage on CNN.
Through the weekend and into this morning, media blogs and mainstream publications including to The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times wrote about the #CNNFail trending topic on Twitter. BayNewser notes CNN’s own Twitter feed “failed” in reporting the story.
“This is an incredibly important story that CNN, across all of our platforms, has covered thoroughly every day for a week with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in Tehran, among others,” CNN spokesperson Bridget Leininger told the WSJ. “We share people’s expectations of CNN and have delivered far more coverage of the Iranian election and aftermath than any other network.”
In fact, CNN had 101 mentions of Iran up until 1pmET on Sunday — then a 70% increase in mentions over the next nine hours. As of 1pmET yesterday, FNC had 75 mentions and MSNBC 53.
With Amanpour’s reporting from the ground and Fareed Zakaria‘s heavy focus on the story during “GPS,” the Iran crisis was a major topic on air for the network. Still, as the New York Times notes, “It did not provide the kind of wall-to-wall coverage that some had expected.”
And as the story made waves on Twitter, many wanted it to break mainstream. Journalism professor Jay Rosen implored Washington Post media columnist Howard Kurtz to write about #CNNFail in his Monday media column — he didn’t.
As for the TV coverage, click continued to see Amanpour’s question, and follow-up, to newly-re-elected Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a news conference…