CNN is launching a major new initiative focusing on investigative reporting, which will include a number of new hires, NPR reports.
Andrew Morse, executive vice president of editorial for CNN/US and general manager of CNN digital worldwide, told NPR: “CNN needs to be an organization that breaks news, not just an organization that covers breaking news or talks about breaking news on television. There’s no better way to do that than to invest in investigative reporting.”
NPR notes that renowned investigative reporters Carl Bernstein and James Steele, who are both Pulitzer Prize winners, will be contributing editors, advising team members on their work as well as consulting with executives on hiring. The network reportedly plans to hire at least a dozen new reporters.
Bernstein, who has been a contributor and commentator for CNN for the past three years, is quoted in the report saying: “These news organizations that have huge budgets have not devoted historically the kinds of resources to investigative reporting that they are capable of. With this, CNN is making a statement that it is capable of doing this kind of work and devoting the kind of resources to it that this deserves. Hopefully, other networks will do the same. It’s good for journalism and it’s good for the people of the country.”
“According to several people involved in its planning, CNN’s effort was in the works before the November elections. Morse said the planning started more than a year ago,” NPR reports. “Yet executives at many news organizations say the dawning of the Trump era has created a distinct challenge because of the White House’s aggressive and hostile stance toward the press.
“The New York Times, the Washington Post and Politico have expanded the size of the teams they are assigning to cover the new administration. As a fundraiser, the not-for-profit investigative outfit ProPublica is selling T-shirts with the caption ‘We’re not shutting up’ — a reference to White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s admonition that the press should do just that.”