CNN Is Good at Simplifying News

Ever since the Deepwater Horizon accident four months ago, newspapers around the world have written pages and pages on the subject. Television channels did the same: the technical details of the disaster and potential solutions filled paragraphs and images with vulgar expressions for specialists, but were little understood by readers and viewers. It’s just like saying an area of 20 hectares and not saying anything else, such as: this is the approximate size of 20 football fields.

It was here that CNN went into action. For instance, while news watchers walked in circles trying to decipher what is the pressure of 6745 pounds per square inch in the interior of the contention cap used by BP, news anchor Reynolds Wolf gave an example using a piece of paper and placing two phones and his wallet over it. “One pound per square inch is what’s being pulled down on this pad that we have here…”Mr. Wolf explained directly to the audience. “Now, imagine 6,745, that’s the latest reading we have in terms of pounds per square inch of force that’s being exerted against that containment cap.”

While BP announced the injection of tons of mud and cement in the well, CNN reporter Tom Foreman simplified: “stopping the oil when it was about to leak was as if we had to stop a train going at high speed. Now it is as if the train has been stopped, but it is still hard to push it.”* Meaning: the job of news representatives is to simplify the information, making it accessible to all of its viewers and readers.

*Editor’s note: The above quotation, accurately translated, could not be verified.

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