Breaking news, more commonly referred to as late-breaking news or simply late-breaking news report, is a topical current issue which requires the temporary suspension of normal programming in order to provide its facts to viewers. Breaking news is often a breaking event, and the event has major ramifications on society at large. Therefore, breaking news is not something which can be covered by traditional media any longer, but rather requires the innovative, investigative, and highly focused reporting abilities of freelance journalists, media outlets, and television broadcast stations. Although this form of news can have a dramatic effect on society, it can also have a negative effect on the lives of the people who are watching the reports. It can cause panic and raise the stress levels of hundreds of thousands of people watching.
Most of the time, a breaking news report involves local stations. However, there are many exceptions to this rule, including some national news networks which occasionally carry nationwide coverage. In most cases, when a local station carries breaking news, it means that the stories are local, as they happen within the jurisdiction of that station. If a story is very nationally themed, it is almost always carried live from another location, which makes it particularly difficult to obtain an accurate prediction of the actual outcome of the story.
When a breaking news report becomes a national affair, it is covered extensively by various news networks. Even though a local station may decide to focus its coverage on a single city or county, the national news networks will provide coverage throughout the United States. This coverage occurs at regular intervals throughout the day, and may sometimes lead to a disruption of school and work schedules. For this reason, it is critical for local stations to adhere to all federal, state, and local regulations that would allow them to provide a full, legitimate, and complete news report in the way that is necessary to meet their obligations to their viewers.
Some of the most serious threats to public safety and the economy stem from the misinterpretation of breaking news reports. A story that is prematurely breaking can lead to much larger and more harmful mistakes and consequences than a story that was properly broken. For instance, a piece that was erroneously breaking could lead to the mistaken belief that a school shooting had taken place when it did not. Similarly, a breaking news report that was erroneously issued by a police department could lead to the misunderstanding of a domestic dispute as a criminal act, which in fact it was.
In addition to the potential difficulties with breaking news reporting, it has been found that coverage of breaking stories can lead to decreases in revenue for local stations. The loss of revenue for a local television station can significantly impact its budget, which is often a major factor in making or breaking a relationship with a local audience. Furthermore, there are many potential legal ramifications associated with breaking news stories that are improperly disseminated. Not only do legal ramifications exist for breaking news stories that are incorrectly disseminated, but also such stories may be broadcast on channels that would be inappropriate for the type of content.
The increased importance of media coverage has resulted in the increased inclusion of breaking stories in both local and national daily broadcast news outlets. Unfortunately, this heightened focus on breaking news has also led to confusion among viewers and a decrease in the quality of the entertainment they received. When a story of importance is improperly breaking or improperly reported, it can often lead to a considerable loss of revenue for news outlets. Additionally, when a news outlet fails to adequately report on a breaking story, their credibility can be severely damaged, which can have long term negative effects on the media company. Ultimately, the entertainment value of any given news report relies heavily on the level of reporting that has been disseminated and whether or not it has provided accurate and valuable information to readers.