On Cable News, Covering Syria From Afar (Mostly)

By Alex Weprin 

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There continues to be a massive civil war in Syria, but thanks in part to a government crackdown on foreign journalists, coverage on cable news tends to be from afar.

As the situation continues to deteriorate, news organizations will have to weigh the pros and cons of trying to sneak producers or correspondents into the country. A number of journalists have been killed in the country, so sneaking in is not a matter to be taken lightly.

Cable news is dominated by politics, but as 2011 showed, revolutions make for extremely compelling TV.

CNN is the only cable news channel to have a correspondent in the country right now, and it has far more coverage than either Fox News or MSNBC, according to TVEyes. CNN correspondent Arwa Damon snuck into the country, and has been reporting for CNN both in daytime and primetime. According to TVEyes, CNN had at least one segment on Syria (often two or three) every hour from 1PM-11PM yesterday.

Fox News does not have a correspondent in the country, but has had a substantial amount of coverage via Dominic Di-Natale in Beirut, Lebanon, as well as correspondents in Israel and Washington. According to TVEyes FNC aired multiple segments on Syria every hour from 10AM-3PM yesterday, and also had segments in the 7 and 10 PM hours. It’s high-profile opinion programs did not appear to cover it that day.

MSNBC had the least coverage of the situation, with some segments during the network’s dayside hours from 9AM-1PM, and segments in the 4 PM hour. There was no coverage in primetime. Jim Miklaszewski reported on the matter from a U.S. Navy ship in the strait of Hormuz.

The broadcast networks have been covering the situation from Syria on their morning and evening news programs, as we have noted.