What IS Breaking News?
I don’t know about you but I am extremely irritated when a show I am watching on television is suddenly rudely interrupted by ‘Breaking News’. If it is something earth-shattering one understands the reason for it. After all, that is what news channels compete with each other on – bringing breaking news to you before anyone else.
But is it really justified when the news that interrupts a movie or a show you are watching is something like “Chaudhry Shujaat is just about to file his nomination for the Senate elections. Chaudhry Parvez Elahi is with him”. Then you see a shot of the two of them waiting to file the nomination.
What is so earth-shattering about that? Could I not have lived another moment without knowing this? Could the television channel not have waited another 10 minutes to report this news after the show was over?
I think the media need to determine what is breaking news and what is not. If there is an earthquake, a hurricane or a plane crash, that is indeed breaking news. If one of our politicians has decided to call yet another press conference to say the same things yet again, that should not even be considered news, let alone news that interrupts regular programming.
This brings me to another pet peeve of mine. Why is it that whenever there is a conference or any kind of event – whether it be on Climate Change or an IT, Developement or an HR Conference, the lead story has to be some inane thing that a politican has said at the event and not something brilliant that the keynote speaker has said? I understand it a little more when the state media does this kind of thing but not when private television channels end up doing the same thing. When will things begin to change?
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