Why Is Breaking News So Popular?
Breaking news, more commonly termed late-breaking news or simply known as breaking news and also referred to as a special feature or special report, is an in-depth report on a topical matter that either mid-morning or afternoon news broadcasts typically highlight. For example, a breaking news feature that begins on a local radio or television station might be syndicated by the wire service. When this happens, viewers who tune into the broadcasting station will find that they are treated to a special feature report that has broken at the very top of their screen. In this case, a television viewer might not have even noticed the broadcast coming on beforehand, and therefore may not have any context at all as to what the feature report is about. Viewers who are actively seeking breaking news will then need to pay close attention to the details contained within the report itself.
This form of breaking news is usually found on various national, as well as local stations. However, since the mediums involved tend to overlap somewhat, a local station may also air a breaking news special during the same time as a national one does. Typically, when a newscast is being put together, the process begins with the creation of a list of topics that the network feels will be worthy of a newscast. From here, the reporters begin to research stories and compile a basic outline before sending the entire thing off for air. From there, the reporters will work to bring this piece of information to the public via various different mediums.
In terms of television coverage, a late breaking news segment is often a one-time occurrence. Most networks and local stations will wait at least 24 hours before issuing a late breaking news report. There are still a few occasions when a special report is issued on a moment’s notice, but for the most part, the coverage will come to a halt once all news is overcast. However, it should be noted that this is not always the case. It is quite common for a network to issue a late breaking news report in response to an in-depth report by another network or a government report.
For online viewers, breaking news coverage is nearly an automatic event. Sites like Google tend to immediately replace the current segment with one of their own that is going to be more significant and relevant to the reader. In the case of a video site, this means that YouTube will replace any break with a video report. While this means less opportunity for breaking updates, it also tends to mean that viewers will not be forced to sit through a long interruption while a new piece of information is discussed.
Because of the significant amount of coverage that these events receive, the broadcast industry has made it mandatory that news broadcasts maintain some sort of continuity. Programs are required to air all highlights regarding breaking stories, as well as make sure to air any in-depth segments that may not directly pertain to the story but were featured during the pre-scheduled programming. This continuity policy has led to a number of different programs that have been created over the years that focus on highlighting breaking news stories in unique and interesting ways.
While it is not uncommon for a network affiliate to air re-runs or feature a variety of different programs in the same evening, the demand for breaking news stories far outweighs that of any sort of late night show. Networks must choose to either devote their revenue to maintaining a stable lineup of popular shows, or lose the majority of their revenue in advertising revenue due to the lack of coverage. Many stations have chosen to keep their news events live, while others have chosen to air reruns or specials in order to generate ratings that favor the more recent programming. If a network affiliate is unable to find a show that will attract their viewers, the station may need to change its programming strategy to focus on a more universal appeal. This has led to a variety of unique shows that focus on a wide range of different topics, which is very different from the steady stream of traditional evening news.