Remember when news first started “breaking?” It happened when people started paying attention more to their social media devices than being “in the moment” for real, and began sending videos of what they “weren’t watching” (but using the video app on their phone) to news stations. This was before Instagram and SnapChat when only an uploaded video email could be done which allowed somewhat more time to pass. In the old days, if an event or story got called in by a private citizen, by the time the news crew got there, the event had partially happened or was finished. Reporters had to gather the facts, double check their accuracy, and then report the event with at least a modicum of confidence that the story wouldn’t have to be changed later. Now we go from “breaking” news to “developing.”
The word “break, breaking, broken” implies that something has been destroyed, no longer works, or has been damaged. What’s damaged is the lack of perspective on “breaking news.” What’s destroyed is the ability to fact check and ascertain what is rumor, what is contradictory, and what reality is because showing it “first” is the golden ring. What purpose does it serve to have reporters in the way when conditions are such that they may be contributing to the chaos, and choking into their microphones to report snippets of rumor and sound bites because they really have nothing to report? They are there too early for even responders to have figured out what is happening. Why it is necessary to view everything as its happening? Maybe there are times when things shouldn’t be that way. News has become nothing more than a spectator sport. A giant peep show with networks racing each other to get there first, to show and talk about what they don’t even know while millions of viewers watch. Attention spans only last as long until the next “breaking” news comes along. The previous event is instantly buried in the past, about two seconds ago. Heck, with the use of drones flying all the time just waiting to catch an event, if it happens we could have “futuring” news.
So, who broke the news? We did. With our need to have everything instantaneously.
What do you think?