It’s CNN’s 30th birthday today.
I was not yet 18 when Ted Turner launched his visionary network. I didn’t know then that I would be a journalist, let alone work for the world’s most reputable news network.
I watched CNN cover the Challenger disaster, Baby Jessica and then the Gulf War. CNN had arrived. I watched Christiane Amanpour report from Bosnia-Herzegovina and admired her talent and courage.
Just before the invasion of Iraq, I spent several weeks in Baghdad covering the U.N inspections and writing about the fear in Iraqi hearts. War was imminent in a nation that had already suffered so much.
I was alone on that trip. And nervous to be in a police state. I found friends at CNN. Eason Jordan, then a top executive at CNN, offered me workspace and conversation. It was a relief just to be in the presence of friendly faces.
But the world of broadcast remained alien to me.
I was a print journalist and newspapers were still turning profits. But the industry changed rapidly.
Last year, I left the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after 19 long years. Needless to say, the decision was tough.
But I was lucky enough to land at CNN. The more I learn about television, the more I am fascinated.
The stories on CNN’s 30th anniversary are focusing on a pivotal time for the network. Outdone in the ratings race in prime time, CNN, say analysts, has to figure out how to reinvent itself before it gets beat at its own game.
We’ll see where the next few months take us.
But f you ask me, CNN does a mighty fine job bringing the world to millions of homes. Every day. 24/7. And I am glad to play a part.
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