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CNN, Arwa Damon chronicling refugee plight with power, passion

CNN's Arwa Damon reports on refugees marching across Hungary to Germany.
CNN's Arwa Damon reports on refugees marching across Hungary to Germany. (CNN screengrab)

If you want to see the kind of great journalism that cable TV is still capable of when it shakes itself out of its Trump-drunk summer stupor, turn on CNN or go to CNN.com and check out its coverage of the desperate journey Syrian refugees are now making through Hungary. The promised land they hope to reach is Germany.

Senior correspondent Arwa Damon and senior photojournalist Christian Streib are telling their story with power and passion not only online and on-air, but also on Twitter @cstreib and @ArwaCNN.

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Fearing what has been described as deplorable conditions in camps, the refugees took off Friday on foot for the German border, and Damon and Streib, who have been covering this migration for weeks, were right there with them every step of the way. This after reporting on the refugees who refused  to leave a train for the last two days for fear of the camps.

The last report I saw before writing this post showed hundreds of people, including families with little children, hunkered down on the side of a highway in Hungary with no shelter. Some parents had carried their children all day on this march.

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Damon and Streib showed several strollers lined up at the edge of the road, telling viewers that they were gifts from Hungarians who saw this sad procession and came out to donate food and water. Damon, who interviewed the refugees in their native language and then instantly and effortlessly translated it for the English-speaking audience, explained how much the strollers meant to parents who had been struggling to help their children hold the pace of the procession.

This kind of reporting is what separates CNN from almost every other TV news organization outside of the BBC. It costs money to have great journalists like Damon and Streib. Thank goodness CNN is still willing to pay the price for such reporting.

I'll forgive CNN all the things about it that make me angry, like what I see as its reckless use of unnamed sources on certain types of stories. On Friday, it showed more social conscience and commitment to in-depth storytelling than any other U.S. television news operation.

It's a holiday weekend here, but in Hungary people are fighting for their lives. And to its great credit, CNN is telling that story like no one else on American TV.

I cannot get the CNN videos to load, but here's a link to one of the reports from Damon and Streib today. Here's another.

If you can watch this and not be moved, it's time for a social-conscience check.

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