“We’re gonna go on the air June 1, and we’re gonna stay on until the end of the world. When that time comes, we’ll cover it, play ‘Nearer My God to Thee,’ and sign off.”
WITH this pragmatic zest- by n’ large based on his dazzling perception ‘I just wanted to see if we could do it like Christopher Columbus’-Ted Turner initiated Cable News Network on June 1, 1980-in a jiffy-after a thirty-second telephonic chat from the office of his independent television station-WTCG [Channel 17]-housed in a Cinderblock Building on West Peachtree Street near the down-town district, Atlanta [Georgia]-in November 1978. His telephone call was confined to simply a dozen words: ‘Can it be done?’ é’Yes’-‘Do you want to do it?’-‘Yes’. With this pithy yak with a person-he barely knew-the young Turner-with an intrinsic nimbleness-set in motion the pinnacle adventure of his life with a singular mindset-‘to do the news like the world has never seen news before’. In fact the birth of CNN and it’s propel to stay alive during 1980s is a modern David and Goliath tale about how a non-entity network took on the giant broadcast industry and-eventually-won.
Now almost close to its silver-jubilee, CNN has thrived in establishing links with almost every nation-around the globe, as ‘The Wall Street Journal,’ once described ‘has made the global village a reality’. Fascinating facets of Turner’s gigantic venture have been illustrated in the ‘CNN: The Inside Story’ authored by Hank Whittemore-a legendary critic, as how a high-stakes poker game, he [Turner] was up-to by getting everything back on the table again, which [to many of his aficionados was sheer lunacy or an act of a crazy man]. Here, he was saying, ‘take every bit of my earnings so far and deal the cards-all or nothing’. ‘ My television, explained Turner-with jovial n’ avid mood-‘is geared to try and change people’s attitudes, to make them alike and love each other more and think like neighbours rather than the enemies.’ Nonetheless, this vow of Turner is taking a swift shift with the passage of time. Though he has established his credentials-beyond any shadow of doubt-hallmarked by credibility-explicitly-via splendid n’ spontaneous coverage’s of perilous events [like wars] from all-over, the up-date proclivity [in a way biased n’ bigoted] vis-é-vis global issues, posing risks to the universal peace-like Kashmir, Palestine, North Korea n’ simultaneously-the Iraqi scenario, is letting lot of eye-brows lifted towards the alluring swear of a plausible man-with such a opaque-free n’ translucent acuity as crystal. Isn’t it an adversity? So wouldn’t it apposite to go for a pragmatic mindset-by disseminating a true portrait in place of leaning towards a specific-at least in the best interest of the mankind, the key target of this much-adored news network? With a wait for such a transform by Ted Turner-expectantly in the quickest way-the surfacing of CNN with a atypical style, is a majestic emblem for worldwide news networks-specifically those in action in the embryonic world for taking a funnel to institute their bona fide authority to clutch a gaze of idolize from th! e viewers instead of callous knock. Of-course, it is not intricate.
The only benchmark-required is to focus on the stuffing of the newscasts with a curious approach to refurbish stories as event-oriented instead of going with gusto to transmit the gist as a pictogram of personality-oriented bulletin or téte-é-téte. It is an established fact that it is man-behind-the-gun-not the gun that sets free a potent impact. And for this a far-fetched ingenious n’ natty outlook is a prerequisite. A cosmetic adjust-and that too-without a set of erudite does-in no way-fetch fixed repute for a medium. With the advent of a dawn of a media-epoch-which is now being harbingered even via Cyber or online Media-in the silhouette of news portals and websites [in addition to print and electronic ones], it is all the more obligatory that the trends of personal liking n’ disliking [obsequiousness plus sycophancy] are eschewed-in entirety, which should-instead have the merit as plinth for conquering literal exquisite goals. Media historians stand witness to the fact with such an obstinate loom, a number of scintillating empires-with deluxe n’ luxuriant outflow of funds on ‘gratuitous men n’ machines’ have scrunched in a spur of moment. Organizations-engaged in such a ‘chic n’ modish route’-must take this veracity as an ‘eye-opener’ to shield them from the perceptible alarms of a Pandora’s Box-with trepidation as its podium.
Back to news networks-specifically of the West, now when the world adores peace and loathes all type of skirmishes-hefty errands rest with televise media like MSNBC, BBC, CBS, DW, CBA n’ CNN to launch a full-scale crusade against those antagonists-like India, who have unleashed a war-hysteria of lofty magnitude-just to terrorize human species-with focus on the adolescents, the de facto asset of the times ahead. Such wafts are ought to be pulverized with a cohesive elegance-to make the world affluent instead of a pedestal of famine n’ syndrome with malady. The ‘Turner Theory of Broadcast’ can help achieve this authentic objective expediently-provided it is stalked by its author with the same buzz-he took up the mind-boggling mission for adroitness of love n’ peace for each neighbour in the world today-now indubitably converged into a global village-to the eventual benefit of every living soul, on the planet-at least till the Day the astute mind-by multiple surveillances-the TT signs off.
The author is a noted journalist, political analyst and ex-Director News Pakistan TV.