Journalism

‘Breaking’ News

I subscribe to a couple of E-mail services from major news organizations that alert me to breaking news when there is any to report.

On January 27th, I noticed something odd in my mailbox from my friends at MSNBC and CBS News: both had sent me a “breaking news” alert to tell me that the “Lord of the Rings” movie lead the Oscar field with 11 nominations.

This is “breaking news?”

I’m sorry…I must have missed something here. Is it just me, or does an Oscar nomination seem to stretch the definition of “Breaking News?”

The Kennedy Assassination on November 22, 1963 was probably the first real “breaking news” event for broadcast television. And ever since then, the major networks have tried to beat each other to the punch whenever a big story does break. But Oscar nominations? Somehow, I don’t equate that with the same importance as a terrorist attack, a major economic announcement, or the death of an American serviceman on a foreign land, the last three of which have been other recent stories received as “breaking news.”

I suppose that to some people, which movie gets the most Oscar nominations is important. I’d think which movies actually win would be much more important. But it’s just hard for me to imagine people who are generally interested in news being that concerned about Oscar nominations when there are more important things going on.

I sent both MSNBC and CBS News a polite E-mail expressing my point of view. It’s been 10 days and I’ve yet to receive anything from either. I guess they’re too busy gearing up for Oscars night.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.