New ‘CNN Trends’ tracks the election and other topics


For those who do not watch the presidential debates, and the many that do, their opinion of who won is not defined during the debate, but by the post-debate coverage in the media and what their friends are discussing the next day.

The polls in this fall’s election have been shown to fluctuate based on what the most talked about stories are in the news. From Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comment to President Barack Obama’s performance in the first debate, trending topics have changed the narrative of the election quite often in this cycle.

For these reasons, it is so important that CNN has launched a new area on its website called “CNN Trends.” Trends ranks the topics on social networks with the highest “buzz” and then attaches several articles to them in order to provide visitors to their site with information on the most talked about stories in the news. The articles provided in Trends come not only from CNN, but from an array of publishers in order to make sure readers have different perspectives. According to CNN, Trends will have the ability to “democratize the editorial process.”

Currently, of course, most of the top trends deal with the presidential election. The top Trend at this moment is Mitt Romney, due to his “binder full of women” comment during the last presidential debate.  However, Trends is not just reserved for political or international news. The hip-hop artist Drake is currently in the top trends for recently receiving his diploma from high school at the age of 25, as are the Detroit Tigers for advancing to the World Series after their sweep of the New York Yankees.

Finding the top trends on social networks and aggregating the sources that are discussing them seems to be the way that journalists will need to deliver the news to consumers in the future. Recently, The Washington Post used “The Grid,” an aggregation of different sources, in order to cover the conventions in a social-media-friendly way. Innovations like this and CNN Trends are the future of journalism because they help consumers understand current events by laying out the narrative for them to understand.

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