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About CNN's Chats

We feature daily general news chats, as well as daily CNN program chats with TalkBack, Crossfire, and CNNI's Q&A programs.

We also feature a regular line up of special interest chats, including Tuesday evening book chats and Friday afternoon health chats, and schedule topical news chats. For a chat schedule and internet links to our web browser-based chat rooms, please go to http://cnn.com/chat.

Joining the chat

To access one of the CNN chat rooms, find the chat you would like to join on the chat calendar page at http://cnn.com/chat and click on that link.

The chat window will load automatically on your Web page. In the text field at the bottom of the window, enter your name as you want it to appear in the chat room. Do not put spaces between chararcters of your name. To join the discussion or pose questions to the guests, simply type into the same text field.

If the chat room does not automatically load on your Web page, make sure that "java"is enabled on your Web browser. We recommend you use the latest version of your Web browser. The Web page chat room may not work on older PCs or Macs due to processor and memory restrictions.

Joining other CNN chat rooms

A list of available CNN chat rooms can be found in the gray box located under the chat room, and also on the Chat Calendar at http://cnn.com/chat

Chat room standards

By joining our chat rooms, you acknowledge that you agree to abide by our discussion standards.

Joining CNN chat rooms through an IRC client

If you would like an alternative to our web browser-based chat rooms, all of our chat rooms are also available via traditional IRC(internet relay chat) clients. You'll need to download, install and configure an IRC client. For more information about IRC, you can consult the help pages at http://www.irchelp.org/

How to connect to CNN chat rooms via an IRC chat client:

1) Download a chat client:

A chat client is a program that allows you to connect to chat servers and join chat rooms. It is not a part of your browser, but you must have an internet connection to connect to a chat server. Use your browser and internet connection to access a download location, then you can download and install a chat client. When you have decided which of the following chat clients you would like to use, simply click on the link to acces the download site.

There are several shareware chat clients available, and you are free to select any client you prefer. For novice chatters, we recommend 'MIRC' and 'Pirch' for windows and 'IRCLE' for Macs.

Once you've accessed the download site, and browsed through the instructions, simply click on the 'download' link.

2) Installing the chat client:

Follow the instructions provided at the download site for the client you selected. Installation is often accomplished through an 'Installation Wizard' or is automatic upon download. Be sure to pay attention to the directory in which your client is installed - you will then be able to find it in order to create a shortcut to the program on you desktop, should you wish to do so. (This is often done for you on newer versions of Windows (95 and 98).

3) Set up and configuration:

Now for the tricky part. The chat server location information you need to access our server may not be preloaded into the chat client you just downloaded. That means you'll need to add it.

For MIRC users:
  • Launch the software.
  • Access the 'file' pull down menu and select 'setup'.
  • In the setup screen, select 'add'.
  • In the add window, input the following information:
    in description box put: CNN
    in IRC server box put: chat.cnn.com
    in port box put: 6667
  • Don't worry about the other boxes.
  • Select 'add' again.

You'll also need to fill in the full name, email, nickname and alternate fields.

Click 'connect' button. Don't get confused if you are greeted with a long list of possible channels to join. Again, CNN's chat channels do not come preloaded into the chat software, so you'll need to type the name of the channel you want to enter into the box at the top of the long channel list. Currently our active channels include: CNN, Talkback, Q&A, CNNSI.

If you did connect to the server, but the channel list doesn't automatically pop up, select the 'commands' option in your menu bar, select 'join' and type in the channel name.


For IRCLE users:

  • Launch the software.
  • From the menu bar, select 'windows' and from there, select 'connections'.
  • In the connections window, select 'edit'.
  • Select 'identity'. Click on the 'select' button to the right of server location.
  • Again, CNN chat channels are not preloaded, so you'll need to select 'add'.
  • Input the following information:
    Server name: chat.cnn.com
    Port: 6667
    network: other/unknown
  • Click on 'select' again.

Make sure you see chat.cnn.com as server location, then fill in the nickname, username, and realname fields. (You do not need a password).

Select OK.

Now, from the connection window, select 'connect'. Once you've connected to the server, select 'commands' from your top menu navigation, select 'join' and type in the name of the channel. If you prefer, from the windows pull down menu, you can access the channels list. You'll need to 'refresh' in order to see the list of available channels.

Please note the name that will appear in the chat room is what is entered in the 'NICK' field. If you are participating in a chat that has an on air connection, you must include your real name in the 'full name' or 'realname' field of your chat client for your comments to be considered for use on air.

If you continue to have difficulty, please email us with a detailed note explaining the connection problem you are having and the type of computer and software you are using. Please include a phone number and the best time of day for someone to call you.


4) Join the chat:

Welcome! We encourage friendly debate and dissenting opinions in our chat rooms. We do expect all participants to refrain from profanity and flaming or otherwise provoking other participants. You might want to review our discussion standards.

Once you've participated in a few of our chats, we'd love to hear from you again about your chat experience. Please feel free to contact us at community@cnn.com.

Connection problems?

If you are having problems connecting to our CNN Chat room from your company's Internet connection, it is possible you are behind a corporate firewall. Many companies install protection devices known as firewalls to keep employees from accessing certain areas on the Internet. See your client help information for possible ways around your company firewall.

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