Something’s Broken…

If all news is breaking news then how do we know what’s breaking? We all know the telltale signs… the red banner swooping in with the dramatic sound effects equivalent to the ‘ta dum’ reserved for the climatic scene in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Have we become the equivalent of Pavlov’s dog, salivating at the sound of a bell, hoping for a treat?

While I understand that we currently live in a world where there’s a constant barrage of bad news – ranging from the pandemic to the epidemic of mass shootings, it just makes me wonder… I mean…Not to get too meta here, but if that ‘Breaking News’ banner doesn’t appear on screen, will the likes of Cooper, Tapper and Blitzer even know that something terrible is happening?

Enter stage left… Chris Licht, CNN’s new chairman, who recently went on the record saying he wants to curb the use of the ‘Breaking News’ vitriol and reserve it only for something ‘Big’. In a recent article in Variety about Licht’s stance, it says – 

‘Licht’s concern about use of the phrase reflects just how much some traditional journalism nomenclature has changed as the industry continues to navigate the new speed of social media. Terms like “breaking news” and “scoop” — once used to show that a particular outlet had gained access to information ahead of competitors — bear less relevance in an era when rivals are able to match reports more quickly.’

The article goes on to mention that ‘Breaking News’ banners are oftentimes equivalent to trending topics and not actual news. 

Now one could accuse me of ‘protesting too much’ because I’m… it’s true… a proud recovering ‘newsaholic.’ Stare all you want. I openly admit the fact that I couldn’t wait to get home from work to turn on an array of cable news channels, feeling the rush of euphoria when Maddow would come on screen in her all black attire and Buddy Holly glasses to tell me… just me… that the FDA has issued a recall on chicken fingers due to a possible listeria outbreak.

And I’m not alone. According to a study done last year by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, ‘doomscrolling’ is an actual thing. The researchers say there’s evidence that points to the biology of people’s brains which indicates whether you have a propensity to scroll through bad news or avoid it alltogether.

So how have I managed to get off the ‘Breaking News’ juice? It’s simple really… Now when I come home from work, I look for calming, less addictive content on television. Something that doesn’t deal with possible ‘Breaking News’ situations.

Oh gosh… I’ve got to run. They’ve just announced something big, I mean HUGE… free shipping on ‘Lock n Lock’ storage containers on QVC.

Do you need assistance sharing your company’s “breaking news” with the world? Feel free to contact us.

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