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Some people go there because it’s the global headquarters of the worldwide leader in news. Other people go there because they have a grand food court and a high speed escalator. Whatever your reason, CNN in Atlanta (the largest of all 48 of its bureaus) has spent the last 32 years earning–and maintaining–its reputation as one of the world’s most respected and trusted sources for news and information (other than Google).
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Whenever we have a friend or family member visiting us in Atlanta, they check into the Potapoff Inn and we embark on our usual, habitual rounds: Georgia Aquarium, Coca Cola factory, CNN, airport. We have been to each of these places so many times that everyone is convinced that we work there. We know these places back to back and provide a very well-informed tour that even strangers will start following us, convinced that we are some sort of elite VIP group.
CNN is always a favorite of mine though and it’s not just because of the food court. CNN does everything imaginable to ensure that people get a very “behind-the-scenes” and “interactive” feel of their headquarters, offering tours priced between the prices of $11-$15 per person. When we are doing our own tours, we mention that CNN was the first channel to provide 24 hour all news coverage in America.
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They take you to the working studios where researchers and writers are galloping away at their computers and allow you to watch as one of the reporters is live on air. They don’t just tell you about how a live broadcast is produced, they show you, taking you backstage to the technical rooms.
Now that you’ve been professionally trained in the art of news reporting, you are put to the ultimate test. They sit you at a desk similar to that seen on News shows (coffee mug included) and you look into the camera and read a report from the prompter in your most professional tone. Ask for the tape and play it for your grandkids one day and persuade them that you were a hard-hitting reporter “back in the day”.
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“And this is Julia Potapoff, reporting to you live from TravelPapa headquarters…,”