By Terry Catchpole
Updated January 17, 1992 at 05:00 AM EST

Whether you see 1991 as the Year of Desert Storm, the Year of Soviet Disunion, or the Year of Thomas-Hill, it was surely also the Year of CNN — the time when Ted Turner’s much-belittled ”chicken noodle news” came into its own as a worldwide lifeline of nonstop coverage of international events.

Unfortunately, CNN’s own 1991 wrap-up fails to justify the network’s astonishing power on the global soundstage. After an impressive opening summary of August’s failed Soviet coup (better, in fact, than CNN’s own The New Russian Revolution, recently released on video), 1991 Year in Review becomes a lumbering, uninspired bore. Just two examples of the hour-long tape’s lapses of imagination: The sports-highlights segment is done without narration, using unidentified still photographs backed by synthesized elevator music; and the events deemed not worthy of extensive coverage are presented in a series of quick-hit mock-newspaper front pages that are bland and uninformative. Any year deserves better. F