Breaking news, also known as either late-breaking or live news or a special feature or news segment, is a hot topic that many television broadcasters feel warrants the cancellation of regular programming or even entire daytime news. Often, breaking news is generated by local stations first, before being sent across the airwaves by television networks. While networks send breaking news reports as text message alerts to their subscribers, breaking news on television is often broadcast live. For example, a story about a flood at a small school in your area may be transmitted live over the airwaves after it has been broken by local television stations.
The breaking news concept was born out of the very public coverage of world events during the early days of the television news. During the height of the Vietnam War, for instance, CBS Evening News displayed a live satellite feed of the battlefront from the North Vietnamese Mekong River. In real time, this included not only helicopter footage but images of burned buildings, dead soldiers, and more. The coverage of this type of breaking news was unprecedented at that time. However, with the proliferation of various media channels and digital video recording technology now available to the general public, this type of coverage is finding its way less into the traditional mainstream media.
Many networks are now providing breaking news features as part of their basic package of regular programming. For example, Fox News features a weather reporter and has launched a feature that permits its viewers to submit their own weather reports via the network’s website. In addition, ABC News has launched an award-winning weather blog that attracts millions of readers each day. Other networks are now beginning to include some form of breaking news feature in their evening broadcasts, as well. Many of these programs are being run in the same manner that the aforementioned networks have with the news syndication, with the exception that the actual content is broadcasted live rather than being delay-enabled like the news segments on cable and radio stations.
The way that the breaking news is presented has also changed somewhat. In the past, local stations have provided this type of feature as part of their regular programming, but it has been growing in popularity among viewers as well as among media buyers. With the proliferation of internet services that allow viewers to watch content directly online rather than having to log on to a television set or PC, this type of news story can be delivered directly to the audience as soon as it is created. This allows the viewer to immediately get the information they are interested in, rather than waiting for a pre-recorded special report to air.
A number of national and local news outlets have also begun airing short segments that provide breaking news alerts to viewers. These short reports often come in the form of email alerts, which are also commonly referred to as “discovery” stories. These brief segments are designed to provide detailed information about breaking stories that local and national news outlets have chosen to feature. The short report may include a short quote or a tidbit that is relevant to the subject at hand and may also provide some context surrounding the event.
Some people see the breaking news segment of their TV or radio station more as entertainment than anything else. People who watch popular television shows and listen to popular radio stations likely get a lot of their daily dose of breaking news from such sources. For these individuals, it might be more important to view the breaking news segment of a media outlet in order to get the full story. For others, watching a news segment on television or listening to a radio station is simply part of the daily regimen. No matter how the viewing audience members choose to utilize the information they are receiving, they seem to like having access to breaking news stories wherever they happen to be watching or listening.