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Interesting facts about CNN International channel
  • 1

    CNN International began broadcasting in the UK in 1987 from the studio in London, two years after the launch of the parent channel CNN International that broadcast from the USA. The initial goal of the parent channel was to cater to the needs of American travelers staying in hotels around the globe.

  • 2

    To differ from the sister channel CNN, the channel adopted the additional word International in its name. Yet in 1996, in a big rebranding effort, the word was deleted and the image of globe was added to the CNN ident instead. Sometimes, the channel is named CNNI in writing to avoid confusion.

  • 3

    The channel initially planned and continues to provide global news coverage in roughly equal proportions for all parts of the world, seeing BBC as its key competitor. Although sometimes accused of pro-USA bias, CNNI is still considered mostly impartial and in 1997 received the Liberty Medal for its activity.

  • 4

    CNN International encompasses several subdivisions: CNN International Asia Pacific (studios in Hong Kong and Taipei), CNN International Europe/Middle East/Africa (a studio in London, UK), CNN International in Latin America and CNN International North America (both studios based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.), and CNN International South Asia (New Delhi, India). The schedules for subdivisions do not differ greatly, yet some smaller variations are visible during commercial breaks.

  • 5

    In mainland China, the CNNI signal must first pass through the Chinese-controlled satellite and from there it is distributed to local users. In such a way the Chinese authorities can cut off the channel at will, preventing users from accessing it. Yet as CNNI reports, in China, the actual users are few, limited to diplomats, high-rank government officials, and the like.

  • 6

    CNNj is the CNNI version tailored specifically for Japan. It runs by local time and all content is translated into Japanese. First, the content was a mix of CNNI and CNN US programming, but since 2008, the channel has switched to CNNI Asia Pacific content.

  • 7

    CNNI frequently faces two opposing types of bias criticism: its Middle East subdivision is often criticized for pushing pro-American agenda; while in the USA, its home, CNN at large is criticized as being too ‘liberal’ and anti-American. At the same time, the practices and standards of reporting are universal for all its subdivisions without exception.

  • 8

    In the UK, CNNI launched its HD version in 2016 on Sky (on channel 506 or 579). This HD version is free-to-air in the British Isles, is available on satellite and IPTV as well as in live-streaming option through CNNI official UK site. The live streaming is geo-blocked for users outside the UK, though.

  • 9

    CNNI has a rule of hiring local reporters for its regional subdivisions, who are usually more knowledgeable about the circumstances of events and are personally affected by the incidents or processes they cover. It makes the news reporting look more immediate and less impartial.

  • 10

    The loudest scandal CNNI was involved in happened in 2011, when Amber Lyon made public claims about CNNI meddling into reporting on the ground and imposing censorship on reporters in order to shape public opinion in desired way. These claims included reporting about Syrian affairs, Bahrain coverage, broadcasts from UAE and other regions that have dubious reputation due to degraded human rights situations.

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