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Thursday 19 September 2019

Trump proposes ‘worldwide network’ to counter CNN overseas

The president has frequently criticised the US network and its reporters.

Donald Trump (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Donald Trump (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

By David Bauder, Associated Press

Donald Trump has raised the possibility of starting “our own Worldwide Network” to counter news broadcast internationally by CNN.

The US president said CNN “has a powerful voice portraying the United States in an unfair and false way. Something has to be done”.

It was not immediately clear what he meant. The US government already operates Voice of America, which last year reached 275 million people worldwide with news reports from the US available on television, radio, online and social media.

CNN had no immediate comment about the new criticism by the president.

The president has frequently criticised CNN and its reporters. His administration recently backed down from its effort to ban reporter Jim Acosta from the White House.

CNN International is the most widely distributed television news network overseas, with BBC World News second.

Mr Trump said he wanted a worldwide network “to show the World the way we really are. GREAT!”

The president’s favourite network, Fox News Channel, is available in nearly 100 countries, although not distributed as widely as CNN.

The president has complained about being in hotel rooms abroad and having no alternative to CNN.

Voice of America, which began operating during the Second World War, is also determined to show the US as it really is, but not through the prism of any particular political leader.

The agency’s charter, signed into law in 1976, says VOA “will represent America, not any single segment of American society, and will therefore present a balanced and comprehensive projection of significant American thought and institutions”.

Voice of America had no comment on the president’s tweet.

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