We Changed the World: Memoirs of a CNN Global Satellite Pioneer

We Changed the World: Memoirs of a CNN Global Satellite Pioneer

We Changed the World: Memoirs of a CNN Global Satellite Pioneer

We Changed the World: Memoirs of a CNN Global Satellite Pioneer

Excerpt

Almost immediately after Saddam Hussein's regime was toppled in Iraq in 2003, satellite television dishes sprang up all over the city of Baghdad and were being sold in stores, outdoor markets, and on street corners.

One young Iraqi man said, "Iraqis want to see how the outside world lives, how it thinks." An Iraqi woman remarked, "Satellite TV is a great way to shape Iraqi minds. We don't know the truth about our own land. Iraqis can now learn about their past. I want every Iraqi to have satellite."

I am immensely heartened by these words, and take pride in knowing that I played an important role in bringing the satellite age to television, and that I helped open the door that allowed the repressed, isolated, and disadvantaged countries of the world to access the information and educational tools that had been denied them for centuries.

When I started traveling the world in order to bring CNN to every corner of the globe, it was solely with the intention of building the Turner empire. Yet when I discovered the power of satellites, a new purpose evolved: enlightening the world's populations and letting the fresh winds of freedom blow through the newly opened window that satellite television now provided.

Ultimately, CNN International changed global communications and political reality, particularly when used by leaders of countries within the CNN satellite footprint to monitor each other's governments. CNN International became, and remains today, the preeminent global news service. Because of satellite television, visual communication took a quantum leap in its ability to inform, entertain, and, above all, enlighten not millions, but billions, of people.

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