ATLANTA — In a groundbreaking move that has upended traditional journalism, CNN revealed on Thursday that its main source of breaking news is no longer investigative journalism, undercover reporters, or reliable sources, but instead, simply checking Twitter.
"This is a game-changing pivot in the world of news gathering," said Chip McLeary, CNN's Head of Editorial. "We've found that we can get news faster, easier, and, most importantly, with significantly fewer journalists by simply refreshing Twitter every five minutes."
The new "Check Twitter, Then Report" system, or C.T.T.R as it has been affectionately nicknamed by CNN staff, reportedly reduces the time from news occurrence to on-air report to an impressive average of 2.7 minutes. That's quicker than the time it takes for an unpaid intern to fetch McLeary's daily caramel macchiato.
In fact, the system is so efficient that CNN is contemplating reducing their team of dedicated journalists. "Why pay for reporters when we have an army of tweeters doing the job for us? It's crowd-sourced journalism," said a high-ranking CNN executive, who chose to remain anonymous due to being in the middle of firing all CNN's field correspondents.
Though this revelation initially shocked the public, CNN's ratings have not only remained stable but in fact, soared. It turns out viewers have a strong preference for unverified, real-time, 280-character sound bites over researched and nuanced journalistic pieces.
However, some have voiced concerns over this strategy. "The cornerstone of any reputable news organization is reliability, accuracy, and integrity," said a disgruntled former CNN reporter, clutching his hastily-packed box of office items. "But sure, let's trust information sourced from a platform where 'hotdogs or legs' was once a viral trend."
Yet despite the controversy, CNN stands by its new approach. "We're simply following where the news is," said McLeary, clicking refresh on his Twitter feed. "And apparently, it's in the hands of people tweeting from their bathroom."