CNN’s Video Irritates Me

By Deane Barker on November 7, 2008

CNN has the nasty habit of posting a lot of video. If you look at the image, all those news stories with the little camera next to them are video clips. (And the t-shirt icon means they’re…t-shirts. Seriously.)

I hate this. It’s frustrating. Video on a news site blows.

I am not begrudging the YouTubes and Hulus of the world, but with those sites, I want and expect to see video. With CNN, I’m looking for news. Quickly.

With video, I have to:

  1. Wait for it to load
  2. Turn on my speakers (and irritate the people around me)
  3. Sit through an ad
  4. Wait for whomever is speaking to get around to their point

Text is good. Text is fast. The inverted pyramid style has been around for years, and it works. I can read the first couple of paragraphs and get the gist of what the story is about.

In a lot of ways, the difference between text and video is like the differences between email and phone, and I still like text for the same reasons. Rich media is cool, but text will never die.

When I see a headline on CNN that I want to read and it has a little camera next to it, I often get irritated enough to go to Google News, search for some terms, and see if anyone has written anything about it. I do that 2-3 times a week.

Rant over.

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Comments

  1. Yep. The main reason I switched from CNN to Google News is that I realized it was taking me 20-30 minutes to sit through video news that could be summarized, probably with more detail, in 5 minutes.

    At least they put the icon on the stories. On the rare occasions I do visit CNN, my brain just parses those as “don’t bother clicking; if interested, type keywords into Google News.”

  2. Ditto. Even down to the part about going to Google news. I thought quite a while back, CNN used to provide a text link whenever they had a video. You had a choice. Read or watch.

  3. The very reason I LIKE cnn is that they give you the option of video or text. When I’m so inclined to view a news video (rarely) I click on the video icon to go straight there or I click the link and then when I decide to watch the video, I hit the video tab.

    I think the tabs are key, since it allows the separation of the rich media and the text.

  4. The very reason I LIKE cnn is that they give you the option of video or text. When I’m so inclined to view a news video (rarely) I click on the video icon to go straight there or I click the link and then when I decide to watch the video, I hit the video tab.

    No, if it has a video icon, the text link goes to video only. I just went over and confirmed this — when there’s one link and the icon, both link to the same place, to the video.

    If they give you the option, there’s a text link, then a pipe, then the word “Video,” and you can click either.

    This does not happen frequently.

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