Tsunami Footage Sets CNN.com Record, 5x More Viewers Than Obama’s Election

Have you watched footage of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami on CNN.com? If so, you are one of 60 million global viewers that logged on to CNN.com to watch. That's a new record.

Have you watched footage of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami on CNN.com? If so, you are one of 60 million global viewers that logged on to CNN to watch. That’s a new record.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “The breakdown consisted of nearly 45 million domestic viewers and 14 million international viewers.” To put these numbers in perspective, the next most-viewed event on CNN.com was Obama’s November 2008 election win, which clocked in at 12 million video starts. That’s one fifth of the 60 thousands video starts of the earthquake and tsunami footage. The Chilean minor rescue has been the third most-viewed event, with 11.5 million views.

This is a good indication not only that more and more people are getting their news online, but that CNN is the place to get it. Hours after the earthquake hit, when Fukushima, #tsunami and #prayforjapan were trending, Watching CNN was pending as well. This, without a doubt, drove even more viewers to the site.

I try to imagine what the atmosphere would have been like if this catastrophe would have happened a couple of decades ago. Sure, people would have been able to read about it in the newspaper and see a little bit of news center coverage on television. But today the Japanese people, the victims of this terrible tragedy, were able to tell their own stories, through YouTube’s CitizenTube, CNN iReport and other online sources. It’s amazing how much more support and donations this type of coverage garners.

I hope we continue to see online coverage of this tragedy over the following months and years, as Japan rebuilds. I think it is important that we, as viewers, understand that the world is not as big as we think and that there are people near and far that are in need of our help and support. Online video and sites like CNN.com are providing us with the ability to understand, better than we ever have before, what is happening around the globe.

Feel free to share your thoughts, as well as how you’ve been affected by this tragedy, in the comments below.