Thursday, November 05, 2009

This just in

I'm sure by now, everyone has heard about the Ft. Hood shootings down in Texas. While this is obviously a tragic event, my topic isn't exactly about the specific news in itself, but rather in how it was brought to us and how it is termed.

When I came home from class around 4 o'clock, my roommate was watching TMJ and they were covering this story pretty extensively. When I saw that they already had a field reporter in a local person affected by the shooting, I asked how long this had been going on. He guessed since about 1:30 that afternoon. That means they were able to find someone and get out there and get the house ready for TV in a matter of a little over two hours. Since this was not a local event, I found that impressive.

This is still not my main point though. My main point is when the 6 o'clock news came on they called this tragedy "breaking news." My roommate instantly started mocking that term, since he had clearly heard about the story 4 + 1/2 hours earlier. But to the working class of America, this is probably still relatively breaking news. I'm sure they heard something about it on their drive home from work, or while they were surfing the web while at work, but the details they were probably getting at that moment. It just made me wonder, at what time frame does a story stop becoming breaking news, and just become news? If something happens between the major news times (morning, noon, 6 pm, 10 pm) does that make it breaking at the nearest news time slot? I think that makes the most sense, but I could see the argument others could make that five hours is a long time in our current "gotta have it now" style world we live in.

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