Tuesday, January 17, 2012
During the 1980s the power of television was increased due to the popularity of cable, which allowed more channels to be created, offering more specific programming. Examples include the music channel MTV which was first broadcast on 1 August 1981, sports network ESPN which started in 1979 but became popular in the 1980s and the news network CNN. The Cable News Network was the first twenty four hour news network and was founded by Ted Turner. It started broadcasting on June 1, 1980.
CNN represented a huge change in the way news was broadcast to the American public as due to its live reports and breaking news Americans were able to watch the main stories of the day unfold as opposed to having to wait for a short specific news programme at the end of the day.
CNN is iconic of the 1980s as it is connected to the major news stories of the decade. This is due to it being the medium by which many Americans first found out about the major news events due to the live news reports. An example of this was the Challenger shuttle disaster on January 28th 1986 in which the space shuttle exploded shortly after lift-off. Due to CNN being dedicated to news, it was able to broadcast exclusive live coverage of the event making it an even more poignant moment as it was one of the first times that the American public had viewed a tragic story unfolding live.
CNN was therefore a vital component of the 1980s as by giving Americans the ability to watch major events developing live, it increased the effect the stories had. This means that if CNN had not been created then the main news stories of the 1980s would not have been as memorable or shocking.
Although CNN is still a popular news channel, I feel it remains an iconic symbol of the 1980s as it was an original and exciting project at that time, which allowed news stories to be reported in a more informative and different way, as well as being the start of numerous technological advances which the 1980s would witness.