TITLE: CNN Interactive

ACCESS: http://cnn.com.

The Internet is becoming the choice of many for keeping abreast of current news stories. Timeliness, wide accessibility, and easily digested formats help make online news sources increasingly popular. Many major news services and regional and national newspapers have, or are planning to have, a presence on the Internet.

A major broadcast news player, CNN, entered the World Wide Web fray last August when it launched it's CNN Interactive multimedia news site. CNN Interactive uses the same vast news gathering sources as it's televised counterpart (9 domestic and 11 international bureaus plus several hundred worldwide broadcast affiliates) when compiling news stories. Additionally, CNN has entered into an agreement with the LEXIS-NEXIS Information Service to provide additional stories for selected topics. The result is a depth and breadth of topics that should satisfy most students, faculty, or anyone else trying to keep up with the current news in any of the 10 subject fields. Updates are made continuously 24 hours a day.

The look and feel of CNN Interactive is uncluttered and lends itself to easy navigation. The main topic fields are displayed at the top of the home page so a user can go directly to a desired area. The format varies within each field but generally offers headline style information with the option of the full story. A unique feature is the list of linked "Related Stories" or "Related Sites" included after many articles. These sites are usually well considered choices.

CNN Interactive exploits the multimedia possibilities of the Web better than any other site of its kind. The sound bites and/or video images are not just glitzy add-ons, but enhancements to the story. The HELP files give the user information on the video, picture, and audio file formats.

There are some definite CNN promotional overtones. Listings of CNN programs by time and subject are available as well as frequent listings of Larry King's program guests. However, the transcripts of CNN programs are very interesting and cover a wide range of dates.

Linda Sharp
University of Notre Dame

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