A good friend of mine recently bemoaned about the simple but effective “Breaking News” message. The story was initially viewed on CNN’s Facebook page as the notice, “Breaking News: The New York Giants beat the San Francisco 49ers 20-17 in overtime to take the NFC title and advance to Super Bowl XLVI“. Of course, you can open the comments section right under this headline and see clearly how that attention grabbing headline was imposed to grab users’ attention and have them comment from ease-of-access social media. However, is there a better, more appropriate alert with which the Network could have garnered such attention?
I want to affirm that I am not discrediting Football news by any degree, I am only trying to bring attention to how the media has changed some of it’s standards for the worse. All of the changes that I can immediately notice are simply because media (TV, online, social networking, print and other applications to circulate news) has definitely diversified over the decades. These mediums began with very professional appeals because the amount of websites, articles, newspapers, etc. were far more limited. Where radio and TV programs needed to put together shows in order to get word out to a country, networks can now have many groups posting various things that will be readily available worldwide. This helps explain why the results of a football game would be posted so quickly, but how it can be breaking news is a different matter. To put it simply, the notice “Breaking News” was put in place to assure that the attached message is of considerable importance, and in fact that it is worthy of “breaking” the program that is currently running. Are game results pertinent enough to capture your attention from some of the national or international news that CNN might also post? If you visit CNN’s Facebook page and see a story like, ” Breaking News: At least 2 people have died in severe weather near Birmingham, Alabama, county sheriff’s office says,” I believe you will respond with a resounding, “NO”. CNN is not the only offender, of course, and I hope that other news distributors will give a greater amount of consideration. I hope they will display the best professional judgement and remain reliable sources of news, regardless of what form of media they utilize.