I’ve been ranting a lot lately, and for that I apologize, but not really sorry.

One thing that eats me up is the use, by television “news” outlets, of the phrase “Breaking News.”  It seems to me that there is a severe overuse or misappropriation of the words.

cnn breaking news

CNN’s Sucker Graphic

If something happens and they drop whatever they’re talking about to speak of it, then that is, indeed, “breaking news.”  Once that is over, say 2 hours in, then it becomes a “developing story.”  If new developments happen, and not just rehashing the same stuff you were just talking about 4-6 hours ago, then you can say, “breaking news.”

Someone argued with me: “what about when something happens early on the East Coast and people on the West Coast don’t get it until they wake up 3 hours later?”  Well, too bad.  Yes, it’s breaking to them, but it’s not breaking news in general.  If your neighbor gets a new car and you don’t notice it for 3 days, that’s not breaking news, it’s just “my neighbor got a new car.”  The words, used in conjunction with a flashy, shiny graphic that bleeds blood red, is misleading and erroneous.  If you still show commercials and take station breaks, then it’s not breaking news, it’s continuing coverage.  It’s all propaganda and sensationalizing.  Stop it!

Another tactic used by some television stations, along with many Facebook news items, is the use of “You’ll never believe what happens next!”  What?  If I’m not going to believe it, why would I take time to read it?  I can just sit on Fox News if I wanted to hear or read something that I’m not going to believe.  Most of it is something that is old news, isn’t shocking or hard to believe, at all, and is generally a blatant bait and switch tactic. I have too much to do than be suckered into this crap.  Stop it!

Don’t fall for, and don’t participate, in gratuitous over-sensationalism tactics like these.  Carry the news, report what is happening, don’t try to reel us in.  I’m much more interested in truth than deception.  Stop it!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Stop it!

“The media has changed. We now give broadcast licenses to philosophies instead of people. People get confused and think there is no difference between news and entertainment. People who project themselves as journalists on television don’t know the first thing about journalism. They are just there stirring up a hockey game.” – Gary Ackerman