I hate that phrase when I hear it “Breaking News!” What does it really mean? Best I can tell is that the person screaming that actually is the first one to ‘break’ the story to the rest of the globe.
But today, everything is ‘breaking news!’ Take last Saturday for example. In the 15 minute car ride to pick up my kids in Rohnert Park, I heard the phrase 3 times! None of which was truly “Breaking” anything more than my patience.
Look at KTVU last week. They “broke” the story on the names of the pilots from the Asiana Air crash. In their rush to be first, they broke the career of that reporter and broke our confidence further that mainstream media has any real thought process at all.
Back in April, CNN ‘broke’ news on the Boston Marathon. In the video there, Jon Stewart mocks them as only he can do. But what was CNN thinking? What was the rush? Why wouldn’t getting it right be more important and better for their reputation than getting it first and wrong?
On July 6, when that above mentioned Asiana flight crashed, the news were on it like flies on, well, you know what flies lad on. Just like the Boston coverage and seemingly every news story since 9/11, the TV media went into full rev, 24 hour crazy-mode. Why? I got home from a charity bike ride the day of the plane crash and watched the news for a few minutes to see what had happened. And after about 2 minutes, I had all the facts.
The news, no matter the outlet, really knew next to nothing. Absolutely nothing more than a plane had crash landed and two people had died. Those were the only facts available early on. Yet six Bay Area channels had converted regular programming to non-stop, uninterrupted, “Breaking News” coverage. Except nothing was breaking. They had, in essence, no news.
Be it 9/11, the Boston Marathon Bombings, George Zimmerman, OJ Simpson, the media just can’t get enough of this stuff.
Do enough people actually watch these 24 hour news channels to make this coverage so profitable? Will someone send me some kind of information that explains to me why these tv stations act this way?