The start of 24 hour cable news channels
In January of 1991, the world of international news coverage changed unexpectedly and drastically. At one key moment, in a hotel in Baghdad, a group of US reporters—armed with nothing but cameras and telecommunications links—presented the planet with live images of the first air strikes carried out by the US-led coalition against the Iraqi state and its leader Saddam Hussein. The broadcaster that sent out these images was called CNN, and the footage was presented in real-time. In that Baghdad hotel, the age of the 24 hour cable news channels became a reality.
Since then, the local and global population has become used to having these sources of information. In the global world, it is hard to imagine any other way of presenting news than the current method of a continuous coverage of all important topics on a single news channel. Previously, the news was just one more part of the varied broadcasting pattern; with the cable distribution, it became clear that viewers actually wanted channels that only broadcasted the news, 24/7, every day of the year.
As the world becomes more and more interconnected, the need for these sources of news continues to expand. Since the late 1980’s, many 24 hour cable news channels have formed and begun operating successfully, and many of them are accessible in every corner of the world. In the 21st century, the rise of the Internet forced most of them to change and embrace the new technologies, but they still remain the primary source of the news for the vast majority of the global population.
Here is the list of the most relevant 24 hour cable news channels operating today:
The Geo News is based in Pakistan and uses the Urdu language to provide a news source. It started operating in 2005 when it was created by the Jang Group and its parent company, Independent Media Corporation. Because Pakistan is an exceedingly important area of the world, especially since the start of the War on Terror, the Geo News is the most important provider of news coming from that region. For the Urdu-speaking population, numbering more than 65 million, they are the first choice when it comes to 24 hour cable news channels.
Broadcasting from Dubai’s Media City, the Al Arabiya is the second most relevant media channel in Arabic. Since it began operating in the UAE, the channel has gained many viewers in the Middle East and especially Saudi Arabia, which is believed to be the biggest supporter of its establishing company, the Middle East Broadcasting Network. Known for its exceedingly high attention to correct journalistic methodology, the network has played a crucial part in broadcasting the events in the region, mainly the Second Gulf war and the events connected with the Arab spring.
New Deli Television started the NDTV as a Hindi news channel. It was originally planned by a couple of Indian journalists, Prannoy and Radhika Roy. Before that, the couple was producing news content for other networks, which allowed them to sharpen their skills. In 2003, they used those skills to establish the NDTV as the dominant player in the domain of 24 hour cable news channels in India.
The EU represents a market that includes more than 400 million citizens. In 1993, a 24 hour news channel was created as a multilingual network that would service the European Union and its diverse cultures. The foundation of the Euronews is exceedingly complex because it includes 10 public broadcasters and, at the same time, is owned by SOCEMIE. But, in spite of this, the network continues to succeed in delivering the international news with a perspective that is focused on the European countries.
In many ways, Al Jazeera is quite similar to the Al Arabiya, but it provides a significantly different perspective. Based in Qatar and founded in 1996, the network became a global contender in the arena of 24 hour cable news channels when it provided Arabic coverage of the Second Gulf War in 2003. Since then, it has grown exponentially. Now, it provides news services all over the world, with multiple languages and offices of local journalists in Europe, the United States, and the Middle East, as well as other regions.
Russia Today (RT)
RT is a Russian broadcaster that has a long history. That history added a new chapter when, in 2005, it reached the global domain and its 24 hour cable news network became operational. Though it entertains a wholly Russian perspective on the global events, RT network holds a status similar to the Middle Eastern channels because both cultures offer an outlook that is different to the Western news channels. With offices in Washington, D.C. and London, RT now reaches an audience of over 700 million people in more than 100 countries.
The second most famous British 24 hour cable news channel, Sky News began working in 1989 under the ownership of Rupert Murdoch. With a huge crew of technicians and journalists, it immediately offered excellent standards of visual design, but the big terror attacks of 9/11 and the London bombings of 2005 conditioned Sky News to switch to a more sensationalized approach. Still, it is a force to be reckoned with, especially in the UK.
One of the younger western media outlets, MSNBC started working in 1996 as a combined venture of NBC and Microsoft. At first, it was distributed in the US, Canada, Germany, South Africa, and the Middle East, but now is a part of the global community of 24 hour cable news channels. Known for its liberal bias, MSNBC is still important in the US.
An ideological polar opposite of MSNBC, and also established in 1996, Fox News today became synonymous for its conservative stances—mainly in the US, but also all over the world. Like Sky News, it was founded by Rupert Murdoch and includes a tough stance on any liberal ideal. While it is often a source of ridicule for its blunders or preposterous themes, the network is exceedingly popular and remains a very successful business enterprise.
The original entry in the group of 24 hour cable news channels, CNN is hugely important to this day. Offering a US-centered but balanced perspective, CNN might not be universally liked, but its power is recognized in all corners of the world, and it has a legendary ability to get the news first. Today, when a breaking news situation is unraveling, CNN should be expected to cover it as one of the first two global news networks on scene.
With all the regions of the world combined, the most trusted entity out of all the 24 hour cable news channels is the BBC. The British Broadcasting Corporation is officially funded by the UK government with hundreds of millions of pounds annually, and this expense is reflected in its quality. For almost a century, the BBC has been and continues to be seen as a source of information and education, which is why it is often called the best British cultural export. In the modern global world, no other news network has its level of credibility and respect.
Reference text used: