Historical Figure & Event

CNN debuted as the first television news network in 1980.

June 01
Calendar Activity Type
Historical Figure & Event

Event Description

On June 1, 1980, Ted Turner introduced the Cable News Network (CNN), the first all-news television network. CNN has since provided news coverage and features 24 hours a day. News seekers can now find up-to-date coverage on CNN.com and CNNRADIO, or sign up for e-mail alerts of breaking news stories.

Classroom Activity

New technologies have made it easier than ever for people to get the news. This is in stark contrast to previous centuries, when there were fewer news sources and it could take days or even months for important news to travel long distances. Have students brainstorm a list of modern news sources, such as newspapers, radio, the Internet, television, e-mail, or text messaging. Next, have students brainstorm a list of news sources from previous centuries, such as telegrams or the town crier.

Arrange the class in small groups and assign each group one of these news sources to research. Students should find out when and where the method was first used, when people stopped using it, and so on. Then have students work together using the ReadWriteThink Interactive Timeline to create a visual timeline showing the evolution of the news over time. See also the Timeline Tool page for information and activity ideas.


CNN offers teachers a variety of tools for the classroom, including a calendar of programming events, reference tools, Web links, teaching tips, and lesson plans.


Published by the American Society of Newspaper Editors, this website offers teachers a variety of resources, including lesson plans, teaching tips, and a database of high school newspapers.


The Newseum offers online exhibits about a variety of news and journalism topics, as well as brief descriptions of some of their physical exhibits.


This site from the Journalism Education Association offers information on publishing articles and podcasts online. Included also are tips on how to promote high school newspaper websites.

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