Some of you who know about my ongoing love/hate relationship with 24 hour cable news (sadly, more disgust and disappointment than anything else) might assume that I ask the following question with my mind already made up.
Not true. I am really curious about what you think.
It is now September 2, 2008 at 4:06PM. I just received the news bulletin below. I subscribe to the breaking news bulletins of every major network and cable news source. Do you think this rises to the “urgent” level of newsworthiness? No other network has distributed it.
The question is not whether this is serious. Of course it is.
How, though, should we define “breaking news?” Might this have actually been a “bulletin” with the primary purpose of increasing the television audience?
Update: The plane landed safely in the last 15 minutes, about ten minutes after I received the bulletin.
From: BREAKING NEWS [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 3:50 PM
To: BREAKINGNEWS Subscribers
Subject: FNC Alert
AA FLIGHT WITH 136 PEOPLE ON BOARD CIRCLING LAX WITH BLOWN TIRE: WATCH LIVE
**Watch FOX News Channel or go to http://foxnews.com
Obviously it wasn’t urgent. The whole idea behind those ridiculous messages to constantly hound you to watch their channel.
I honestly do not think this was that urgent enough to be considered breaking news. I used to subscribe to CNN breaking news after September 11, but unsubscribed when I started receiving ridiculous news bulletins. These breaking news bulletins should really be used more wisely.
It doesn’t even rise to the level of an urgent blog post.