From the top
of the front page of NEWSBLUES.com
Former CNNer Bonnie
Anderson has a new book out, entitled "News Flash," and her
ex-employer isn't thrilled. She tells Lost Remote's Steve Safran: "CNN
is demanding I turn over all drafts of my book, they want access to
my hard drive, they want me to reveal my sources, and even want access
to my medical records (for reasons I can't begin to understand.)"
"This is a news organization that is using tactics THEY would scream
about if the tables were turned. Guess I've hit a nerve. And it's clear
they don't want the American public to read what I've written. If they
think I'm going to cave, they've picked on the wrong person."
In "News Flash,"
Anderson chronicles the decline of television journalism into infotainment.
She claims television journalism has been co-opted by bottom-line thinking
that places more value on a telegenic face than on substantive reporting.
She shows how, in the increasingly competitive world of network news,
network executivesthe real power in broadcast journalismtend
more and more to hail from the entertainment industry. They "cast"
reporters based on their ability to "project credibility,"
consistently valuing good looks and youth over training and experience,
and green light coverage only if they can be assured that it will appeal
to advertiser-friendly demographics.Safran reports that Anderson is
on a book tour, but big news outlets are shying away from booking her.
She is a 27-year news veteran who has won seven Emmy Awards and was
a Pulitzer Prize finalist.By the way, Anderson is scheduled to sign
copies of her book on Wednesday, July 21st from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
at the Waldenbooks store at One CNN Center in Atlanta. We expect fur
Wiley - Global
Publishers Since 1807
While talking heads
debate the medias alleged conservative or liberal bias, award-winning
journalist Bonnie Anderson knows that the problem with television news
isnt about the Left versus the Right-- its all about the
money. From illegal hiring practices to ethnocentric coverage to political
cheerleading, News Flash exposes how American broadcast conglomerates
pursuit of the almighty dollar consistently trumps the need for fair
and objective reporting. Along the way to the bottomline, the proud
tradition of American television journalism has given way to an entertainment-driven
industry thats losing credibility and viewers by the day.
As someone who has worked as both a broadcast reporter and a network
executive, Anderson details how the networks have been co-opted by bottom-line
thinking that places more value on a telegenic face than on substantive
reporting. Network executivesthe real power in broadcast journalismare
increasingly employing tactics and strategies from the entertainment
industry. They "cast" reporters based on their ability to
"project credibility," value youth over training and experience,
and often greenlight coverage only if they can be assured that it will
appeal to advertiser-friendly demographics.
In News Flash, Bonnie Anderson (veteran print reporter, broadcast journalist
and network executive) chronicles the decline of television journalism
into infotainment. Anderson uses hard-hitting argument, investigative
reporting, and personal memoir to illustrate how television journalism
has been co-opted by bottom-line thinking that places more value on
a telegenic face than on substantial reporting.
Coaster' Diversity Woes (EXCERPT FROM NEWS FLASH, BOOK ON CNN)
cablenewser | 7/7/04 | Bonnie Anderson
Posted on 07/07/2004
5:26:36 AM PDT by Brian Mosely
All this week, I
am posting excerpts from News Flash, the new book by former CNN VP Bonnie
Anderson. Please note that Anderson filed a lawsuit against CNN last
year, alleging that the network discriminated against her.
Pages 60-63: Diversity:
"CNN As A Case Study" Anderson served as a vice president
in charge of hiring and talent development, and describes her experiences
during that time period:
From CNN's birth
in 1980, it has been primarily a network of white people putting together
news for white viewers. With some brief exceptions, it can also be said
that people in nearly all top news executive positions have been men.
In 1999, then-CNN chairman Tom Johnson made it clear he wanted minorities
hired for virtually every on-camera opening. One example of his not-too-subtle
pressure was an e-mail to then-Headline News head Bob Furnad, strongly
suggesting that an anchor opening at that network be filled by a male
or female African American, or a female Hispanic. (The first question
that came to mind when I read the e-mail was "And do you want fries
with that?" This was the hiring equivalent of going through a fast-food
drive-through.) Between Headline News and CNN/USA there were a handful
of minority anchors, including journalists such as Bernard Shaw, Sachi
Koto, Joie Chen, and Leon Harris. But their numbers were small. And
neither network had ever had a Hispanic anchor.
While diversifying the CNN News Group was clearly the moral, ethical,
and sound business thing to do, when applied in this fill-as-many-openings-as-possible-with-minorities
manner it was also illegal. I was copied on Johnson's e-mail to Furnad,
and later during a private conversation with Johnson I told him that
while his intent was no doubt to do good, I believed this was a dangerous
way to implement diversity...
...Over the next
two years, however, the CNN News Group practiced obvious quota-filling
based, in part, on Johnson's orders and what was considered to be smart
programming. There had never been an Asian or Hispanic correspondent
at CNN's Los Angeles bureau, so only Asians and Hispanics were considered
for the two openings there and one of each was hired...
Anderson cites several
other examples, and points out that at CNN International, only non-Americans
were considered for anchor positions. And she sas that Jim Walton created
a new vice president position "specificially for an African American."
...In 2001 CNN did
a complete turnaround. The top positions at Turner Broadcasting had
been handed over to men whose entire careers were in the world of entertainment..And
they made it clear they intended to instill the values of the entertainment
world -- in terms of programming and hiring (or "casting"
as [Garth] Ancier called it) -- into the news networks at CNN. If it
works for the entertainment divisions at other networks, they said,
they believed it would work with news too. At my first meeting with
Ancier, when I was showing him tapes of anchor candidates chosen by
Headline News and CNN/USA chiefs out of the pool of candidates I'd shown
them, he said, "Why are all these tapes you're showing me of minorities?
We don't need any more of these people! We have enough! Bring me others!"
Real Audio from
The Paul Harris Show
Bonnie Anderson [7/7/04]: The veteran TV newswoman talks with Paul about
her book, "News Flash," in which she says that TV news is
no longer about journalism and the truth, and it's not about a liberal
or conservative bias -- the only bias in TV news is towards the bottom
line. She discusses the hiring practices, the lack of ethics, and the
lack of delineation between news and entertainment. Bonnie also explains
why she withheld information while covering the Waco siege, and how
a top CNN executive was wrong to suppress information about atrocities
in Iraq and Cuba just to maintain the network's relationship with their
governments. This is the book the network news divisions don't want
you to read!
Flash' author says CNN demanding notes
In an email to Lost Remote, "News Flash" author and former
CNN VP Bonnie Anderson writes: CNN is demanding I turn over all drafts
of my book, they want access to my hard drive, they want me to reveal
my sources, and even want access to my medical records (for reasons
I can't begin to understand.) This is a news organization that is using
tactics THEY would scream about if the tables were turned. Guess I've
hit a nerve. And it's clear they don't want the American public to read
what I've written. If they think I'm going to cave, they've picked on
the wrong person. Very interesting - Bonnie is on a book tour right
now and tells us, unsurprisingly, big news outlets are shying away from
Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ)
The author, former
CNN executive Bonnie Anderson, starts her book tour in Miami June 18.
The book received praise from Juan González, New York Daily News
columnist and president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
González wrote: News Flash is more frightening that a Stephen
King novel. It meticulously chronicles how our nation?s television news
has morphed into brazen show biz, how good journalism fell victim to
good looks, how serving public interest gave way to placating corporate
greed. In a riveting account by a veteran television reporter and network
executive who watched it all happen from the inside, Bonnie Anderson
exposes, in addition, the shameful way that network executives routinely
give token attention to ethnic, racial and gender diversity yet quietly
keep white males in virtual control of the key jobs in television news.
All the while, our evening news programs blissfully and arrogantly ignore
the information needs of a rapidly changing America.
KGO-AM 810 NewsTalk
Policies and practices of the news media are vital to our national perception,
as was on display all this week with the media saturation coverage of
President Reagan's state funeral. To get a rare insider's perspective
on the news media, Christine is proud to welcome her friend and colleague
Bonnie Anderson, author of News Flash : Journalism, Infotainment and
the Bottom-Line Business of Broadcast News to talk about her years inside
News Flash shows how the ascendance of infotainment is ultimately disastrous
both for the networks' bottom line and for democracy in America. Anderson
instead offers a path that will both ensure the continuing relevance
of network news and shore up democracy itself, enabling Americans to
make well-informed decisions about how to exercise their rights and
responsibilities as citizens.
Bonnie Anderson is a 27-year news veteran who has won seven Emmy Awards
and been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She began her career as
a print reporter for the Miami Herald, the Miami News, and Gannett Newspapers,
and later spent ten years at NBC and close to ten years at CNN, ultimately
becoming a vice president of the CNN News Group. As president of Anderson
Media Agency, Inc., she currently provides media training for executives,
journalists, and other professionals.
with Barry Lynn
Lost are the days of Walter Cronkite, when the nation could trust the
news. Now, with cable news offering ideological tilts and infotainment
replacing information, Bonnie Anderson, author of News Flash, talks
to us about how this happened and what we can do about it.
At 2pm Pacific time,
listen on KCAA 1050AM in Los Angeles.
Culture Shocks & Culture War
America is in the middle of a culture war, and the winning side will
decide how much freedom we really have as a nation - freedom to believe,
freedom to speak, and freedom to maintain our individual identities.
Culture Shocks takes a daily look at the outrageous conduct of those
trying to undermine Americans' personal liberties. Along with guests
from across the ideological, religious, and political spectrum, Culture
Shocks examines current and perennial controversies that cut to the
core of American values.
News Flash: Journalism,
Infotainment & the Bottom-Line Business of Broadcast News
Recent reports that CNN is engaging it's battery of lawyers to put the
kibosh on Bonnie Anderson's NEWS FLASH prompted me to take a read.Author
Anderson even handedly exposes CNN's calculating prejudice for profit,
Fox's funnies and MS-NBC's news negligence. She leaves no maleficent
media stone unturned. This veteran Journalist tears down the infotainment
news wall and lifts the lid on how the networks spoon feed the prurient
appetite of the public for rating and the bottom line.