Cable NEws Rushes to cover Malaysia

The nation’s most prominent TV-news outlets scrambled to cover the breaking story of a second apparent disaster involving a Malaysia Airlines jet, a signal, perhaps, that the networks anticipate viewer interest in the story may be high given the amount of attention CNN devoted to a Malaysia Airlines flight that went missing earlier this year.

Four cable-news networks – Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and Al Jazeera America – started to report on a Malaysia Airlines flight that had apparently been shot down while flying over the Ukraine, with CNN anchor Jon Berman citing reports at about 11:22 a.m Eastern, according to TVNewser.  Fox News’ Jon Scott followed five minutes later, with Tamron Hall reporting the incident at 11:33 a.m. at MSNBC. Al Jazeera America said it broke into programming at 11:40 a.m., after initially saying its coverage started at 11:35 a.m.

NBC tapped “Today” anchors Matt Lauer and Savanna Guthrie to deliver a special report at 11:39 a.m., while CBS broke in to programming at 11:40 a.m. with Margaret Brennan anchoring and ABC tapped  David Muir to interrupt programming at 11:41 a.m.

The circumstances surrounding this Malaysia Airlines jet are different from the ones surrounding Malaysia Airlines 370, which vanished while in flight back in March. The mystery surrounding the plane’s disappearance captivated news aficionados and fueled a surge in CNN’s ratings.


(Updated, 11:47 a.m. PT)


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