Friday, April 8, 2011

Why you won't see news of airline disasters at the airport

In a post back in February, I asked who decides that everyone would like the TV turned to CNN at the airport.

My friend Zach Schrag pointed out to me this week that there is a service called "Google" where it is possible to answer this sort of rhetorical question in about 15 seconds.

The CNN Airport Media Kit answers my question: the airport gets a revenue source from local commercial time that the airport can sell.

In a statistic I plan to check with my informal survey in the coming weeks, CNN Airport claims that "87% of viewers believe having CNN Airport Network available makes the time they spend in the airport more worthwhile."   Note that this was from a 2004 Nielson Survey.  Seven years later, when anyone who cares can get news on their mobile device, I'm curious if this statistic will hold.

Note also that the statistic is the percent of viewers. Did Nielson exclude from that count the travelers at the airport who were trying to read a book or talk to their kids?  If that is true, then who were those 13% who said, "Yes, I'm watching the televsion, but it makes my experience here at the airport less worthwhile."

In a wonderful move of self-censorship, CNN Airport promises that they "will not air graphic video coverage of commercial air accidents or injuries unless the incident involves national a national emergency or threat to security."

So the graphic video coverage of any local air accidents that have purely voyeuristic, entertainment value, which you see on your regularly scheduled CNN at home, won't be shown at the airport. 

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