CNN’s ‘Breathless’ Coverage of Richard Branson’s Space Flight Draws Fire from Journalism Experts

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Like most news outlets, CNN covered the Sunday space flight by Virgin Galactic and its founder, Richard Branson. Unlike its competitors, however, the network’s coverage drew fire from journalists — and from the Columbia Journalism Review — who deemed its “breathless” coverage as unusually promotional.

“Almost everything that ‘CNN Innovation and Space Correspondent Rachel Crane is saying sounds like Virgin Galactic wrote it for her,” Outside Editorial Director Alex Heard wrote in a message on Twitter, referencing reporting from Crane that included a comment the event gave her “goosebumps.” Heard added, “It’s genuinely strange.”

Crane was accompanied at the event by former Fox News reporter Kristin Fisher, whose parents both served as astronauts, and who made
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