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CNN president Jeff Zucker talked to students at Wallis Annenberg Hall and denied rumors that he would be resigning as president of CNN. He also discussed the inner functionings of the news business. (Ashley Lyu | Daily Trojan) Teddy Williams, a sophomore majoring in communication, disagreed with Zucker and said she considers Vice to be a credible news outlet and should not be disregarded due to its non-traditional approaches to news. Morgan Stephens, a senior double-majoring in journalism and political science, asked how CNN attempts to approach objectivity in journalism, especially with public criticism of CNN’s inclination to show liberal and conservative views of an issue. “I really like Vice,” Williams said. “I think it especially creates entertaining ways to convey news to people who don’t take news in the traditional sense like reading newspapers or going online.” “I do think it is important, and I have gotten criticism for having people on our payroll and voices who are Republican voices, pro-Trump voices, and I defend them, and I think it is really important for two reasons. First of all, I don’t want to be MSNBC. MSNBC doesn’t really have any of those voices. I think that’s a mistake,” Zucker said. “Two, I think that if we don’t understand what Trump voters and supporters are saying and thinking … then we wake up the day after an election and are surprised that Donald Trump has been elected.” “What Donald Trump is doing in terms of denigrating media and journalism is incredibly destructive not just here at home, to destroying this institution that the United States is frankly built on, but it’s also giving license to authoritarian leaders around the world to mistreat, ignore, arrest and put in danger journalists around the world,” Zucker said. Once the floor was open to audience questions, Dan Toomey, a senior majoring in journalism who interned at CNN over the summer, asked Zucker for advice for students interested in pursuing a career in broadcast media even with it’s dwindling prevalence. Bay asked about a 2016 interview with Variety when Zucker said he did not consider BuzzFeed and Vice “legitimate news organizations.” The conversation also touched on the growing threats against journalists, not only in conflict-ridden areas abroad, but in the United States as well — specifically with the Trump administration. Nearly 60 people attended a conversation with CNN president Jeff Zucker at Wallis Annenberg Hall Tuesday. Zucker discussed the inner workings of the news business, his experience leading CNN and his time as the former president and CEO of NBC Universal. “In terms of broadcast news, and sports, live programming, I think that is going to sustain for the next five, 10 years,” Zucker said. “So if you have dreams of broadcast television news, pursue it and just do a great job. The key thing to being a good journalist is knowing how to how to report a story and telling the story.” Aside from social media platforms, CNN is considered the number one source of digital news and information, according to a CNN Digital press release. To compete with social media’s information-sharing capabilities, Zucker has implemented a new system at CNN to focus on the technological and digital aspects of news media right from the hiring stage. The event was hosted by the Center on Communication Leadership and Policy. “We were only about hiring people who were editors and writers and producers. We didn’t hire people who understood technology, who knew how to write code,” Zucker said. “What we’ve been doing over the last two, three years and going forward will be [is hiring] people who understand technology.” Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism Dean Willow Bay started the conversation by addressing rumors that Zucker would be resigning as president of CNN, especially in light of a tweet made by President Donald Trump earlier in the month on the subject. “I’m not resigning. That was actually fake news. So there’s no truth to that,” Zucker said. “There were all kinds of rumors … a couple of years ago that I was going to be fired from CNN. And I didn’t pay attention to those rumors at that time. So I don’t believe these rumors at this time, and I don’t pay attention to them now.” “I think that part of the back-and-forth that I’ve had with places like Vice and BuzzFeed is that … they’re always hitting up at us and they’re always trying to take shots at CNN, because they want to be mentioned in the same breath with us and they want to play in the big leagues,” Zucker said. “Has Vice and BuzzFeed done some good journalism? Yes. But on the whole, are they big, strong journalistic outlets? I don’t think they are. I think that they want to be, but they don’t have enough of the journalism and they don’t have enough of a business model to back it up.” ”It’s our obligation at CNN to call that out and hold them accountable and correct them, but I think not hearing from them is a disservice,” he added.
This year’s derby winner SEEKING MY DREAM, running as the 3-1 second favourite, turned in a ‘Horse of the Year’ performance at Caymanas Park yesterday to win the inaugural running of the rich Supreme Ventures Diamond Mile.Ridden by four-time champion jockey Omar Walker in the green and black chequered silks of Member of Parliament Derrick Smith, the classy 3-y-o colt from the stables of champion trainer Wayne DaCosta stormed through on the inside early in the straight to win by 2 1/4 lengths from the 2012 derby winner and two-time ‘Horse of the Year’ TYPEWRITER (9-2) with jockey Aaron Chatrie aboard, followed by the DaCosta-trained PERFECT NEIGHBOUR, the 2013 derby winner, finishing another two lengths away third.PERFECT NEIGHBOUR was the 2-1 favourite for the race which had a purse of $13.5 million, the largest ever offered for any race in the English-speaking Caribbean.With the winning owner receiving a record $6.5 million and purse money paid to the first 10 past the post, DaCosta, who is safely on course for a record 15th trainers’ title, not only saddled the winner and third horse PERFECT NEIGHBOUR with Robert Halledeen aboard, but fourth past the post ALI BABA (19-1) as well.BLISTERING EARLY PACEDaCosta, who saddled as many as six horses in the field, sent his speedy American 5-y-o gelding FORTUNEONEHUNDRED (74-1) to ensure a blistering early pace from the outside post position. He was joined by another fleet-footed American horse, UPPA TUNE (9-2), under champion jockey Dane Nelson and both had a prolonged duel for the lead in the backstretch, as SEEKING BY DREAM bided his time off the pace in fifth before starting his winning run on the inside approaching the 600-metre pole to win in a fast 1.36.2.Bred by Sherman Clachar and Norman Gordon, SEEKING MY DREAM, by Seeking The Glory out of the 2008 ‘Horse of the Year’ and Triple Crown winner Alsafra, has now won the two biggest races for the year to become the season’s leading stakes winner with $13.7 million.For owner Derrick Smith, it was part two of a dream come true. “My dream was always to win the derby. But having realised that back in June, I had to dream again and this time it came up big with the Diamond Mile,” said the former minister of national security, who was accompanied by his wife Karleen and their three sons, Derrick Jr, Jay and Duane.DaCosta said that following his close second to PHINEAS under topweight in the recent Coca Cola Invitational Mile, SEEKING MY DREAM had the conditions in his favour.”Walker rode a perfect race and I am happy with the outcome, in that Perfect Neighbour placed third and Ali Baba fourth,” he explained.Sales went through the roof with records falling all around. The Diamond Mile sold $2.5 million in win tickets alone and sales touched close to $70 million on 14 races.