Over the past weekend, we at IFLSG were invited to attend the CNN Studio Tour in Atlanta, Georgia; and by invited, we mean we paid for a ticket like everyone else.
The CNN Studio Tour is a 55-minute walking tour through the facilities, where you’ll be given the opportunity to see how broadcasted news works from behind the screens. Of course, all of this from the world headquarters of CNN!
$16 for an adult and $15 with a student ID, you’re taken around a series of floors where you’ll observe everything; starting from where news anchors speak, up to how the actual fact checking is done.
If you google “CNN Studio Atlanta”, you’ll obviously see many quality images from big named- businesses; however it is actually forbidden for an ordinary person to take pictures throughout most of the tour. Trust us. We had some awkward conversations with security guards more than once. Although we did enjoy the tour thoroughly, all we really wanted was to provide some great visual content to our readers, therefore this article is about to be spammed with a bunch of (illegal) photos and videos.
This was our first stop:
From this broadcasting room, CNN staff controlled what people all over the world would and could see from their homes (or even mobile devices). On the screens presented, we had both the national view and the international view. Many might know this already, but the tour guide explained that when commercials are on, the screens go black. The reason for this is that they don’t really control those commercials, since they really depend on your geographical location.
Moving on, we’re not sure if any of you have ever noticed but when CNN weather reporters want to talk about a certain area’s weather forecasts, they never point directly at the location; but rather circle around the general area. This is because they don’t really see the map while giving the forecast, they just rely on their geographical knowledge. Ergo, instead of messing up by choosing one spot, they give an estimate and call it “non-committal motions”, as it’s only a green screen.
Lastly, we bring to you our favorite: the fact checking.
This was an enormous room with way too many people writing articles, formatting media, and checking facts. It’s divided in sections and each person has an important job. While you sleep, CNN fact checkers don’t; they’re on call 24/7. What’s funny is that although they have a ton of screens showing CNN news, some of them are actually broadcasting competitor news channels (to see what they’re up against!).
Now… For all who are still reading, we bring to you a rather fun fact which impressed us quite a bit. In one of our stops, the tour guide told us about this app called Great Big Story which provides great little videos and reads for your every day life. Well, one of these stories was about the very well known: Betty Crocker, the lady who we owe these wonderful delights to.
In the same way Enzo Ferrari started Ferraris, and Wendy with Wendy’s, it’s safe to assume that Betty Crocker is the mastermind behind all of her products. She was initially known for personally responding to customers (when she worked for the Washburn Crosby Company, now known as General Mills). People liked this “personal touch” so much, that Betty Crocker went on to having her own radio show where she’d give advice on cooking to women all over the world (since nobody wanted to listen to a man’s cooking advice).
Well, you’ve been living a lie (and so have we). Betty Crocker does not exist.
The idea of having a name behind all of this advice was so popular, that Sam Gale (Washburn Crosby’s advertising director), a man, thought to run with it for as long as possible. It’s still going on, so kudos to him. Funny enough, in each state that Betty Crocker’s radio show would run, it was always a different woman’s voice; since local (to you) accents would appeal more than one neutral voice/accent. Just look at how Betty Crocker “evolved” from 1936 to 1996!
We’ll end this at that, since you’ll probably reflect on who else in your life is fake. This post has been unusually long, but for not having posted in a while, you deserved something fun to read. If you plan on visiting CNN right now, know that you’re one of 7.5 million people who visit the website DAILY.
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