In the latest in a series of forgettable attempts at journalism, recent content reported from the self-proclaimed “cable news network,” has sparked a head-scratching controversy. The Ted Turner founded television syndicate continues to a witness a free fall in credibility, as an electronic story published on Sunday, which blatantly mischaracterized the emergency descent and landing of an AirAsia flight in route from Perth, Australia to Bali.
The issues of sensationalism begin with the title of the article and continue throughout the body of the story in a lame attempt to describe the narrative of a commercial airliner losing cabin pressure and the flight crew following protocol to execute a safe landing. No passengers were physically injured during the incident. The bogus title of the article, “AirAsia staff accused of ‘screaming’ as flight plummets 20,000 feet,” includes an obvious half-truth as allegedly the cabin crew apparently overreacted to the situation, but in the course of reducing altitude to 10,000 feet, the Airbus A320, according to flight data, was on a controlled descent.
It gets worse in the text of the article as “rapid” is deployed to describe the deliberate loss in altitude. The choice of the authors to use the verb “plummet” and “rapid” when describing a standard emergency procedure is both egregious and careless, as the aircraft never exceeded 3,300 feet per minute in bleeding off altitude, a figure that is well within the standard operating protocol of the average flight. If the descent had exceeded 6,000 feet per minute, the writers would have been afforded the latitude to describe the situation as a roller coaster ride on the borderline of being out of control.
As CNN and other networks continue to refine the art of fear mongering instead of traditional news reporting, it is up to the audience to take their content with a grain of salt. As the average viewer cannot afford the time to scrutinize all the news, the future of the public dissemination of information looks bleak. Hopefully, the ratings of the network will crash land as a result.
Read the CNN offending article here.