Tonight, I'm focusing on the latest news about the news.... here are some highlights from a few CNN Press Releases.
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences this week revealed CNN Presents: God’s Warriors as one of the recipients of the inaugural Television Academy Honors, citing the documentary as one of the programs in 2007 that “exemplify television with a conscience.” CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour traveled the world to report God’s Warriors, which aired in August 2007.
In what it touts as an annual awards program, the academy will honor God’s Warriors and other recipients during a star-studded event on Thursday, May 1, at the Beverly Hills Hotel. An outgrowth of the academy’s Television Cares Committee, the Television Academy Honors celebrate television programs that best present issues of concern to society “in a compelling, emotional and insightful way.”
Forty years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., CNN will launch a sweeping on-air and digital initiative, CNN Presents: Black in America. Breaking new ground in revealing the current state of Black America, this landmark programming features six hours of documentaries, a weekly series of reports that will air on CNN/U.S. and CNN International and appear as part of a multimedia online effort. The programming, which airs over four months in 2008, focuses on fresh analysis from new voices about the real lives behind the stereotypes, statistics and identity politics that frequently frame the national dialogue about Black America.
Reported by anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien, Black in America begins with the two-hour premiere of Eyewitness to Murder: The King Assassination, a first-person account of what happened on April 4, 1968.
Black in America: Eyewitness to Murder – The King Assassination, Thursday, April 3, 9 p.m. (two hours)
In this first installment of CNN’s Black in America series, O’Brien investigates how James Earl Ray, an armed robber and escaped convict, had already spent an uncommon year on the run that included plastic surgery just a month before his path collided with that of the civil rights leader in Memphis, Tenn. Through interviews with witnesses and investigators, O’Brien retraces the steps of King, Ray, the FBI and Memphis police and explores alternative scenarios of who was ultimately responsible for the murder that, for some, represented the end of the American Civil Rights era.
Here's a preview of the first installment:
Black in America: The Black Man, Wednesday, July 23, 9 p.m. (two hours)
Perhaps the most misreported group in America today, black men are often stereotypically depicted in the media as convicts, gang members and absentee fathers. Told through the personal stories of graduates of the 1968 class of Little Rock Central High School, their sons and grandsons, for The Black Man, O’Brien seeks to determine whether life is better for black men now than it was 40 years ago. She reports on the disparities between blacks and whites in educational, career and economic achievement and factors leading to the devastating rates of black male incarceration.
O’Brien reports on successes and dissects myths to explore the state of black men in America today.
Black in America: The Black Woman & Family, Thursday, July 24, 9 p.m. (two hours)
In this installment of Black in America, O’Brien, examines the unique and varied experiences of black women and families in America. O’Brien looks at the reasons behind the disturbing statistics on single parenthood, disparities between black and white students in the classroom, and the devastating toll of HIV/AIDS on black women. The Black Woman & Family yields insights into black achievements and struggles and perspectives on King’s hopes for progress.
“As we developed this series, it was critical to go beyond what viewers believe and already know to introduce them to the real people behind the headlines that we report every day on our assignments,” O’Brien said.
CNN.com’s interactive special section for Black in America, available at www.CNN.com/blackinamerica, will launch in late March and will feature excerpts from the series and exclusive interviews with eyewitnesses to history. The section also will include timelines, maps and multimedia stories that highlight the ripple effects the King assassination had on the United States.
Coming off a year of continued ratings growth for its “news and views” programming strategy, Headline News will add Not Just Another Cable News to its weekend lineup, it was announced today by Ken Jautz, executive vice president of CNN Worldwide. The series will take a lighthearted look back at famous – and infamous – stories that made news. The series will premiere on Saturday, April 5, at 7 p.m. and will feature some of the most unforgettable political blunders of our time. Future episodes will highlight bad celebrity behavior, stupid criminals and unusual pop culture fads.
“Our CNN news group is in the fortunate position of having nearly 28 years’ worth of archived news footage, and this new series is a unique way of showcasing some of those clips,” Jautz said. “It’s an entertaining way to recall some of the more memorable news moments captured on video.”
The half-hour program will feature comedians, pundits and other “talking heads” offering their take on memorable video clips. The premiere episode includes Time.com editor Ana Marie Cox, Los Angeles Times columnist Joel Stein, Republican strategist Amy Holmes, Huffington Post media editor Rachel Sklar and comedian Hugh Fink. Not Just Another Cable News Show will be executive-produced by Conway Cliff.