Breaking news, more commonly termed late-breaking or early-breaking news and sometimes referred to as a special feature or special report, is an item that broadcasts a story as it happens. It may be breaking, which indicates a breaking news story, or breaking news, which means a feature story written with added timing so as to give the reader a taste of what the event is about at the precise moment it occurred. This form of news is usually conveyed by the media by means of breaking news flashes or news briefs. The breaking news genre covers all sorts of different stories, from local city or town events to international political issues. When the original story is not able to be broadcasted live, breaking news supplements the piece by relaying what has happened as it happens, usually with an introduction by an anchor, usually.
A few news outlets, such as television and radio stations are dedicated entirely to the breaking news format, broadcasting hourly to provide coverage to the communities they are operating in. Other news outlets, such as print media, have the capabilities to break major stories as they occur through various different means, such as through online or newspaper reports or by simply issuing alerts. Alerts are sent to a number of different audiences depending on the nature of the alert. For instance, a news alert that deals with layoffs in a major company might be sent to employees via email, while another type of alert could be a banner atop the main news stands in major cities.
In contrast to breaking news, regular programming can also fall into the category of “news.” Broadcasting news as it happens is not as common as it used to be, as it is now often done by news outlets that specialize in providing regular programming rather than just news. Examples of such regular programming would be Today, The Weather Channel, CNN, and the like. These forms of news coverage are not as heavily targeted towards a particular niche as breaking news, and they do not rely on the same social networking methods to spread the word. However, news coverage can still provide information to a general audience that is specific to a certain industry.
Another form of breaking news coverage is more geared towards a local audience. News broadcasts can be geared towards a specific region, city, state or the country as a whole. A very broad category that fits into this category would be the weather channel. The weather channel will often air a special weather report, which may be focused on a particular part of the country or focused upon a single city. A more localized form of this type of news broadcast would be a local news affiliate station that was designed to provide coverage to a smaller area.
Another similar type of service comes in the form of a breaking news blog, which is often hosted by a variety of media outlets. A breaking news blog typically covers stories from a particular region and is more localized in nature than the aforementioned types of alert services. A few examples of a media outlet that regularly updates their blog would be CNN and The New York Times. These blogs usually update both their website and their app, providing users with a continuous source of breaking news stories.
As one can see, there are several different ways that a media outlet can change its format and provide breaking news story updates to a variety of their audience. Often times, a station may choose to do one or two of these formats based upon their own local focus and audience. However, even if a station chooses to only do a small portion of this type of service, it is still important for media outlets to regularly schedule these types of services in order to stay on top of the information that is being disseminated.