The media today: Time for the eclipse

All the major news organizations have gone eclipse crazy. The Atlantic launched a special project, Two Minutes of Darkness, for coverage of the total solar eclipse, writing about everything from offbeat ways to enjoy the eclipse to Annie Dillard’s classic essay about eclipses. BuzzFeed published this handy guide on everything you should know about today’s eclipse. And NPR has big plans for its coverage with a team of 22 videographers, kid reporters, and local newsrooms.

Here’s how else you can enjoy the eclipse. CNN is live streaming it from seven different locations and in virtual reality. Time is letting readers watch the eclipse 360 degrees. All the major networks, like NBC, ABC, and CBS, will televise special reports from 1 to 3pm ET. Plus, the PBS program “NOVA” will produce a prime time special about the eclipse (they’ve been prepping for the event for two years).

The last total solar eclipse visible in the US happened on February 26, 1979. ABC’s Frank Reynolds wrapped up coverage of it on a hopeful note: “May the shadow of the moon fall on a world at peace.” Thirty-eight years later, Reynolds’s words hit a bit too close to home given last weekend’s events in Charlottesville. The world (and this country) may not be at peace, but today’s total solar eclipse offers an escape, albeit a brief one, for both the media and its consumers. So, grab your special eclipse glasses, and take a break from your newsroom to enjoy the beauty of the universe. More on the eclipse below.

  • Could the “Great American Eclipse” turn out to be a great American bummer? Rebecca Boyle explains why in The Atlantic.
  • Are there benefits to looking directly at the sun? Sam Kriss answers that question for The Outline.
  • Here’s how some newsrooms are planning to cover the big event.
  • What to expect with today’s total solar eclipse.


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Meg Dalton is a CJR Delacorte Fellow. Find her on Twitter @megdalts.