All Eyes on Video

27 Nov

CNN must be credited for amazing coverage and dazzling photos of news and events, but it can’t be ignored that at the end of the day, the news organization is known for its video content. Admittedly, as a print journalism major who has always looked to text heavy news sources, I may have not given the video content of the site the attention it deserves.

Today, I explore the CNN video features and packages.

This is not a hard task. The main feature on the homepage is a video clip, but perhaps not the kind that one would expect to be featured front and center. The title of the clip is: “Mirror turns dolphins into total hams” and the video depicts a scientist who places a two-way mirror in the dolphins’ tank. The animals, who have always been known for their playfulness and bubbly nature, are absolutely enamorred with their reflections– they blow bubbles, turn upside down and stare lovingly into the mirror. It’s cute, of course, but newsworthy? The scientist seems to think so. She explains that other animals look at their reflection and see another animal, but dolphins recognize themselves, which levels their intellectual recognition capacity with that of humans.

I loved this video. I replayed the footage of the dolphins staring at themselves several times, grinning ear to ear at the playful creatures. I’m not an animal-obsessed fanatic, but this video touched me.

I think CNN knows that it’s doing.

We can get news in just about every form these days– online, on our phones, even on Twitter. But there is something about a video that shows and doesn’t tell; I could read an article that explained how “dolphins stare lovingly at their reflections when placed in front of a mirror,” but the actual footage of the creatures blowing bubbles and smiling at their reflection evoked a reaction from me. After watching the dolphins, I felt giddy, and joyous.

At the bottom of the page there is a “CNN Heroes” tab.  I tried to Click on the title (which reads: CNN Heroes, An All-Star Tribute) but I realized that there was no article attached; underneath was a thin reel of clickable video tabs, with incredible interview footage of unique and amazing individuals.

The first video that I watched was one of Harmon Parker, who builds footbridges across Kenya’s perilous and dangerous rivers to enable people to cross them safely; another is a video of Anuradha Koirala, who works to fight against sex trafficing in her native Nepal (Koirala was a victim of the system herself.  The videos varied in content and tone- Koirala’s story was heavy and upsetting, but others were more uplifting and inspiring, like the video profile of Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, who has provided free meals to 400,000 children around the world.

From the story of the animated (and narcassistic!) dolphins to the heartfelt and inspiring heroes package, I was moved and engaged by all of the videos that I watched on CNN’s site today.  Perhaps I should do this more often.


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