CNN map
© RT; Twitter / CNN International
CNN has failed a basic geography test, putting Germany much closer to Italy than it actually is, during a report on how the EU is combatting the novel coronavirus. Netizens showed no mercy to the network's online team.

News that Germany isn't raising the alarm due to the 2019-nCoV outbreak in Italy prompted many established media to report on it, with CNN being no exception. The broadcaster's actual report cited a German foreign ministry spokeswoman who said Berlin wasn't issuing a travel warning for Italy at the moment, but their Twitter publication wasn't as accurate.

Now, you have to read carefully to spot the blunder.

"Germany is currently not considering closing the country's borders with Italy due to the coronavirus outbreak, its foreign ministry said," it reads.


In fact, Germany shares no border with Italy, with Switzerland and Austria sandwiched between them. It took a while until Twitter dwellers questioned the geographic literacy of CNN's online editors.



The caption would be accurate if CNN reported from Germany some 80 years ago. At the time, the Third Reich annexed Austria in what it called the Anschluss ('joining' in German), thus becoming fascist Italy's immediate neighbor.

A pair of history-savvy users didn't miss the opportunity to remind the network that borders have changed since then.

One of them was even kind enough to caution against confusing Austria and Australia.

Germany and Italy joined the Schengen zone decades ago, but becoming part of a border-free area doesn't basically make countries physically move closer to each other.

Most users, of course, were annoyed by CNN's poor geography. "Guys, please go back to school and take a look at a map!" one user offered.

What's more, they relocated France's Cannes, famous for its international film festival, to Spain and Hong Kong, just off the coast of China, to South America several years ago, and even suggested that New Zealand's Auckland was a city in Australia.