Slate had an article today suggesting that the news has been cheapened by the ever-present “breaking news” which once indicated urgent news of major importance, probably being read off the teletype only a few words ahead of the actual broadcast. Two things are credited with the demise of the relevancy of news alerts: first, the news now goes around the planet on the internet and by the time it hits even the 24-hour news stations, it is at a discrete yawn (imagine then waiting to be in the morning newspaper); second, many of the news outlets (at least they consider themselves news outlets) have taken to applying the urgency of breaking news to flashes of mediocrity, but a special kind of mediocrity that supports and amplifies a thinly disguised agenda, usually of a political nature. So “breaking news” is not new news, not important news, and in some instances is cherry-picked or biased news.
I myself saw one of those “Breaking News” announcements one night after falling asleep on the sofa. On waking I was enlightened to the benefits of some pill containing the rare special herbs that would let me conquer the Chicken Ranch. I was intrigued but didn’t get the telephone number. Luckily it was breaking news every night of the week as long as I tuned to the right channel.