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History of CNN

Since CNN’s launch on June 1, 1980, the network has expanded its reach to a number of cable and satellite television networks (such as CNN Headline News), 12 web sites, two private place-based networks (such as CNN Airport Network), and two radio networks. The network has 42 bureaus around the world and more than 900 affiliates worldwide. CNN has launched many regional and foreign-language networks around the world. CNN debuted its news website CNN.com (then referred to as CNN Interactive) on August 30, 1995.

A television movie, Live from Baghdad, was later made about the network’s coverage of the first gulf war. Coverage of this and other conflicts and crises of the early 1990s (including, perhaps most famously, the Battle of Mogadishu) led to the coining of the term “the CNN effect”, which testified to the perceived impact its pioneering real time, 24 hour news coverage had in influencing the decision-making processes of the American government.

CNN is still, however, second in world rankings when it comes to international news coverage, getting just over half of the audience the BBC does, perhaps due to its relative youth compared to the oldest largest news and broadcasting institution in the world. The BBC differs from CNN International which uses local reporters in many of its news-gathering centers, although they cover stories from an international perspective.

On September 11, 2001, CNN was the first network to break news of what would prove to be the September 11 attacks. Anchor Carol Lin was on the air at that time. Sean Murtagh, CNN vice-president for finance & administration, was the first network employee to get on the air.

CNN launched two specialty news channels for the American market which would later close amid competitive pressure: CNNSI shut down in 2002, and CNNfn shut down after nine years on the air in December 2004.

Jim Walton is the president of CNN Worldwide. The current President of CNN/U.S. is Jonathan Klein. He was appointed in November 2004.

In 2006, reacting to the wide-spread growth of social media and user-generated content, CNN launched CNN Exchange and CNN iReport, initiatives designed to further introduce and centralize the impact of everything from blogging to citizen journalism within the CNN brand.

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