30 dollars, 30 charities, 30 years of Impacting Your World. CNN celebrates its 30 year anniversary by honoring the people, communities and stories it covers through Impact Your World. Give "30 for 30" to charity and join the movement to Impact Your World.
Editor's Note: Jim Walton is president of CNN Worldwide, which includes CNN/U.S., HLN, CNN International, CNN en Español, CNN.com, CNN Airport Channel, CNN Radio and CNN Newsource. Read more from him here or explore some of the most defining moments of CNN's 30 year history.
What is the idea behind CNN's Give 30 for 30?
Give 30 for 30 was conceived by CNN employees and has been embraced by Turner Broadcasting. Every eligible Turner employee around the world will have the opportunity to direct a company-paid donation of $30 to a charitable organization of his or her choice. CNN launched Impact Your World in 2007 to empower people to engage more directly with the news stories that move them. Give 30 for 30 is a way to honor the communities we cover; to honor and personalize the 30th anniversary; and to invest where it will make a difference. As always, we're encouraging the public to participate through the Impact Your World Web site at cnn.com/impact.
What is the significance of CNN's 30th birthday?
We've come a long way in 30 years, and it's worthwhile to consider what the journey has made of us. So I welcome a reason to pause and take stock—of CNN at 30, and all of the other businesses celebrating birthdays this year: Turner Broadcasting's 40th; the 25th of CNN International and Larry King Live; and CNN.com's 15th. But it doesn't change who we are or what we do. Since June 1, 1980, our mission has been to report news as and where it happens in a way that reflects and respects the highest standards of our profession. In my view, that commitment and how we've sustained it are what this anniversary celebrates.
What is the state of CNN at 30?
Strong and growing. We've built one of the most valued and valuable brands in the world. We deliver news and information on more platforms to more people than any other news organization. And in a time when traditional journalism—and by that I mean factual, non-partisan reporting and analysis—is under siege, we are holding true to our standards and those to which people around the world hold CNN.
What are CNN's greatest opportunities going forward? Its biggest challenges?
Our brand promise is an opportunity; no one else is doing what we are, and on our scale. There is opportunity for ratings growth on CNN television. Our multiple revenue streams position us to continue our investment in newsgathering; monetizing our content on multiple platforms is a growth opportunity. Our biggest challenge is the same one everyone in our business faces: remaining competitive in a consumer-driven marketplace. Being relevant, entertaining and non-partisan is not easy in the current environment. But that's where our opportunity lies.
What is your favorite moment or memory from CNN's first 30 years?
In my 28 years at CNN, I've seen too many great moments and worked with too many great people to pick just one. What I'm proudest of is how CNN has found ways to participate and contribute philanthropically without compromising our journalistic integrity. Auctioning the CNN Hummer to raise more than a million dollars for Fisher House, finding and celebrating CNN Heroes, the Larry King Live telethon for Haiti relief, Impact Your World and all of the great local volunteer work that CNN employees do through the company and on their own—these are things that change lives for the better. We are doing our part, and I am grateful for it.