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Tell HN: CNN Lite no longer functional
74 points by nabeards on Dec 16, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 42 comments
I’ve been a long-time user of CNN Lite (lite.cnn.com) since first learning of it here. It seems to have been deprecated, showing just a single message to update your app. Sad times.

Strange. I was reading it literally a couple hours ago.

It has gone down for extended periods in the past, most likely when the unpaid intern running it had exams or something.

I read it yesterday, and I’ve seen it down in the past. But when it was down before, there were no articles listed at all, so this seems different.

Well, at least there's https://text.npr.org/ ... for now.

As a reader of npr.org in Europe, I’m prompted by https://choice.npr.org to either accept cookies or visit the text site. I wonder if https://text.npr.org is also tracking-cookie free.

Check out USA Today.

I'm not a huge fan of them as a source, but their EU version is so damn amazing that I wish every news website would be like that.

From https://eu.usatoday.com/EU-learn-more/ :

> This site does not collect personally identifiable information or persistent identifiers from, deliver a personalized experience to, or otherwise track or monitor persons reasonably identified as visiting our Site from the European Union. We do identify EU internet protocol (IP) addresses for the purpose of determining whether to direct you to USA TODAY NETWORK’s EU Experience.

A cursory inspection of the html shows nothing in the header and nothing blocked on the usual uBlock Origin / Firefox tracking protection dashboards.

Edit - the header in its entirety:

      <title>Text-Only NPR.org</title>
      <meta name="robots" content="noindex, nofollow">
      <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">

Thanks for checking. I’m on mobile safari and I don’t think there are any dev tools or show source.

Heh, a long, long time ago I made a View Source app for iOS for specifically this purpose.

There are dev tools but not local, you need a laptop to connect to them

This is actually the first news source I look at every morning! My co-workers balked at it because there are no pictures. I love it.

I wonder if it got a bunch of traffic yesterday from being mentioned in a HN post, and they decided it wasn't worth it.

Mentioned in here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21798623

Although this is probably the last website where a lot of traffic would be a problem.

I guess this is the comment: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21799369

That would be quite unfortunate.

Searching HN for lite.cnn.com actually produces pretty frequent results

For anyone wanting text only news, here's a gopher service: https://txtn.ws. With a http proxy it's almost as usable as via gopher.

I'm a fan of http://legiblenews.com

I think it uses Wikipedia as its source.

Well that's unfortunate. I've used these lite interfaces when I was on bandwidth-restricted networks, including satellite internet connections. I hope they bring it back. The main CNN website is an awful pile of junk and I avoid it whenever possible.

Comes and goes. Will have content. Then blank. No add revenue. A work of love. Some awfull spelling and copy grammer in some articles though. But fortunately no blaring intrusive video.

I've unfortunately had to stop reading CNN due to their website.

I was in the same boat until I found the lite site. But I guess less news is fine for now.

FYI, another name for lite.cnn.com is m.cnn.com

> FYI, another name for lite.cnn.com is m.cnn.com

That makes the "Please update to the latest version of the CNN app" message make more sense: they've probably saw lite.cnn.com as a service for phones, and decided to discontinue it in favor of their app.

This shows the same message

Looks like its back up!

Yeah, working for me too.

I prefer to some clean news aggregators, such as



There's also https://mobile.reuters.com not as barebones, but also clean

It was not like this yesterday (Dec 15).

Was literally reading it yesterday as well

Sad times for CNN began 3 yrs ago when they added strong bias to otherwise objective and very professional coverage of natiowide and worldwide events.

I grew up with CNN being my goto window to the world. Now it feels to become more like angry, old neighbor

Criticism of CNN going to biased reporting began a decade or so ago when they started falling way behind in market share compared to Fox News and MSNBC.

Unfortunately being objective doesn't give a rapid fan base.

Not sure if there was a delay before it bled over to their website, I'm only aware of comments about the cable station.

It is unfortunate that unbiased boring news just doesn't sell.

The best college class I ever took (most useful?) was a logic class where we went through political speeches and disassembled them into logical statements. We learned how to strip away bias to see the underlying arguments.

My favorite test question in that class was a political speech that, when reduced down to logical statements literally equated to null. The speech went around in so many circles that, quite literally, everything said in it was unsaid at some later point in the speech and absolutely nothing was promised by the end.

I've been rather cynical of politicians ever since. Also I ended up being super sensitive to loaded phrases and propaganda. Once you've been trained in spotting it, it becomes obvious how prevalent purposeful bias is in our media.

I basically can't stomach watching/reading any "news" media any longer. Fox News needs no introduction, CNN follows closely behind. I'm so sickened by all the bias (one way or the other) that I feel like it's all tabloid nonsense and that it isn't worth my time.

You might try CBSN - they seem to work really hard to avoid bias. Particularly anything Major Garret or Margeret Brennen do is really well considered and thoughtful. I was extremely sick of bad reporting and having to shout “except that’s not the whole story...” every time I watched the news - at very least Face the Nation is excellent journalism.


A year and a half old, which is a lifetime in Trumpworld, but still relevant. The top (composite) infographic paints a pretty good picture of which outlets are most and least trustworthy, or at least viewed that way.

Interesting when you look at the partisan breakdown in the lower graphics. The Democrats adhere fairly closely to the consensus view, aside from assigning some additional weight to outlets like Washington Post and CNN. But the Republicans appear completely divorced from the middle, placing Fox News and WSJ on a pedestal and distrusting all else, including such relatively unbiased sources as PBS, AP, and NPR.

There's also https://www.allsides.com but I've become so disgusted with all the politicians/politics that I don't even bother with it.

Objectivity is moot when all your rhetoric is pushed into emotional triggers. My experience with CNN is it's for whipping up discontent, and using news bytes to do it.

As an example, and this is totally anecdotal, the past few times I've flipped to CNN they weren't talking about the serious news of the day, e.g. impeachment proceedings, but rather spent all their time on "gut-wrenching" (their word, used maybe 4x per minute while I watched) stories like the family who was killed by Mexican cartels 1.5 months ago, when the first rumblings of impeachment started proper. I sensed nothing in the broadcast but effort to keep eyeballs glued to the screen. No interest in reporting in any way "objectively" except when that means "restate the same 4 factoids about this story until we wait for someone else to come in with a 5th". No appropriate analysis, no demonstration of understanding that cartel warfare has been rampant in Mexico for decades and the caravan that was targeted looked an awful lot like a drug transport caravan from far away, nothing.

Did it really start only three years ago?

Or did you only notice it starting three years ago?

An editorial agenda is normally very easy to hide. If you're a paper and you support an administration, you're going to do so by suppressing news that harms your side, and if you dislike an administration, you suppress news that is favorable to them. You can also see this in non-partisan coverage, such as the total blackout on the Epstein story and ABC previously spiking Robach's investigation into it.

Suppressing news is an extremely favorable strategy because it's impossible to criticize something that isn't written as being biased. They can even bury a perfunctory story to deflect criticism of non-coverage.

So, yeah, you wouldn't notice it because a lot of negative news was suppressed during the Obama admin. For instance, immigration is a huge topic now, but our issues at the border didn't suddenly spring into existence when Trump took office, those stories were spiked. One amazing case was this[1]:

> GENEVA (Reuters) - A Nov. 18 story headlined “U.S. has world’s highest rate of children in detention -U.N. study” is withdrawn. The United Nations issued a statement on Nov. 19 saying the number was not current but was for the year 2015. No replacement story will be issued.

The story was, objectively, just as newsworthy, it's simply that Reuters initially wanted to run it because they thought it would reflect badly on the Trump admin.

But hit pieces clearly out you as a partisan outlet. There's no way to spin consistent negative converage against a single party. That's why it's so shocking that outlets like CNN have gone absolutely ballistic in the sheer volume of hit pieces against this administration. The negative coverage is in the high 90s and appears obsessive and bizarre. I don't think Bush even got this level of negative coverage even while he was conducting a deeply unpopular war.

[1]: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-un-rights-child/story-on-...

My take.

For a long time CNN was the "School Shooting Channel" and the "MH370 Channel"; call it bias or not, but it was definitely focused on things that seemed to get a certain kind of person watching while biting their nails.

Then Trump started running for president and CNN discovered that he was good for ratings, and surprising to them, Bernie Sanders was too.

Trump was very good for CNN's ratings because for once you might watch CNN and expect Trump to say absolutely insane. Then once he got elected it was like every day was September 11.

(One might say that CNN felt guilty for giving Trump so much attention that it led to his election. Contrast that to the very little coverage Bloomberg is getting despite a stupendous ad spend... I think the media wants to give him a chance to walk that one back!)

What's great about it for them is that they can just sit in their Washington, DC and Atlanta headquarters and rap and not have to invest in travel, journalism, or anything inconvenient like that.

So I think that CNN made a definite transition when Trump got elected.

> For a long time CNN was the "School Shooting Channel" and the "MH370 Channel"; call it bias or not, but it was definitely focused on things that seemed to get a certain kind of person watching while biting their nails.

And before that it was the Scott Peterson channel.

Personally, I think the invention of the 24-hour cable news network was a mistake. There just isn't enough breaking domestically-relevant newsworthy material to fill the airtime. IMHO, the only good solution to that problem is to increase the proportion of relatively mundane international news coverage or in-depth investigative documentaries. Unfortunately a lot of people aren't interested in the former and the latter is expensive. Instead the networks either fill the airtime with wall-to-wall coverage of stuff like the murder of Laci Peterson presented like it's 9/11 or Pearl Harbor or with wretched opinionating.

If I were king, I'd limit breaking news programming to two hours a day per channel, and opinion to two hours a week.

For the brief period I watched, it was the "service men and women surprising their kids that they're home from deployment" channel.

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