New Directions, New Challenges
Edited By Stephen Cushion and Richard Sambrook
Chapter 10: Revisiting the Three Phases of 24-Hour News Television in the Age of Social Media
← 114 | 115 →CHAPTER TEN
Revisiting the Three Phases of 24-Hour News Television in the Age of Social Media
On the 30th anniversary of the launch of CNN—the first dedicated news channel, which began broadcasting in 1980—I examined how 24-hour news television had evolved over three decades. In brief, it was suggested the rolling news genre and the way it had been studied by scholars could be interpreted within three overlapping phases (Cushion, 2010).
First, a “coming of age” phase when CNN was launched and grew in recognition, most notably in its live reporting of the first Gulf War. While other channels emerged in this period—Europe’s first rolling news channel, Sky News, in 1989, for example—it took until the early 1990s before the perceived influence of CNN triggered the arrival of other channels with similar ambitions.
With the availability and penetration of cable or satellite services increasing post–Gulf War, the second phase can be characterized as a race for transnational reach and influence. Euronews’s arrival in 1993, for example, was created in a bid to develop a European identity and present a challenge to the monopoly of American news channels with a global reach. Likewise, Al Jazeera’s launch in 1996 provided coverage that addressed, for the first time, Middle Eastern audiences.
The last overlapping and ongoing phase marks a stage when news channels began to scale down aspirations, with a...
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