Breaking News Extra Quality
Breaking news, interchangeably termed late-breaking news and also known as a special report or special coverage or news flash, is a current issue that broadcasters feel warrants the interruption of scheduled programming or current news in order to report its details. Its use is also assigned to the most significant story of the moment or a story that is being covered live. It could be a story that is simply of wide interest to viewers and has little impact otherwise. Many times, breaking news is used after the news organization has already reported on the story. When a story has not been reported on previously, the graphic and phrase "Just In" is sometimes used instead.
The format of a special report or breaking news event on broadcast television commonly consists of the following: When a news event warrants an interruption of current non-news programming (or, in some cases, regularly scheduled newscasts), the broadcaster will usually alert all of its affiliates via an internal alert/message service telling them to stand by for the interruption. After some time, the network's feed will suddenly switch to a reverse countdown, usually from 5 seconds, to allow any affiliated stations to switch to the network feed (television stations typically do not provide these countdowns for local coverage, merely leading with a graphic and voiceover announcing the cut-in). If a national network newscast is in progress when the breaking news event occurs, the newscast will pause temporarily to allow other network affiliates to join the feed. There is then an opening graphic, featuring music (such as NBC's "The Pulse of Events", composed by John Williams) which adds an emphasis on the importance of the event. The open is followed by the introduction of a news anchor, who welcomes the viewer to the broadcast and introduces the story at hand. Lower thirds and other graphics may also be altered to convey a sense of urgency.
Once the story is introduced, the network or local station may, if possible, choose to continue to show a live shot of the anchor or may cut away to video or images of the story that is being followed during the broadcast. Additionally, the coverage may be passed to a reporter at the location of the breaking event, possibly sharing more information about the story as it breaks.
If a story occurs during the early fringe timeslot and depending on the magnitude of the events at hand, local stations might be given the opportunity to break away from the network feed and begin their evening newscasts. This is set up by a cue from the network's talent that they will pause for a few seconds to reset coverage, at which point an opening graphic may be rolled again. Information is also disseminated from an internal alert service utilized by a station's master control. After the local newscast, stations will likely return to the network's feed as they normally would for the network newscast, but they may be joining in on an "extended edition." Whether or not a station will take over for local news is usually the choice of that station's news director.
When the coverage comes to a close, the network or station may either resume programming that was occurring before the event or begin new programming (if the breaking news happens during a newscast the network will switch back to the newscast upon completion if time permits), depending upon the amount of time spent on the coverage. The outro usually includes a promo directing viewers to the network's website (or that of the station, if coverage is provided locally) and other platforms (including television and streaming news channels) for continued coverage If the story breaks during daytime or late-night programming, the anchor will usually remind viewers that there will be or might be more details on their local news that day and a full wrap-up on the network's evening or morning news program if applicable. In most cases, regular daytime and late-night programming is re-joined in progress, and segments may be missed (although sister stations and digital subchannels can provide an alternate outlet for programming pre-empted due to a special report).
Breaking news reports often face the same problems in reporting: no footage of the incident, no reporters at the scene, and little available information. To be able to report on current affairs despite this, many networks either employ full-time (typical in the United States) or contact freelance (typical in the United Kingdom) experts and pundits to be "talking heads". These people have either experience or expertise and are considered reliable by the general public. They have been common on television, and can also appear on radio.
In 2015, the Financial Times suggested that with modern technological developments broadening news coverage, and with networks opting to show "livelier" non-expert comments from social media more, the need for talking heads may be shrinking.
On radio, the process of a breaking news story is somewhat the same, though some different considerations are made for the medium. For instance, a breaking news theme is required by default to have an urgent tenor and be used only for the purpose of true breaking news or bulletins. This is obvious on the local all-news radio stations owned by Audacy (formerly owned by CBS Radio), which very rarely use a breaking news theme for all but the most urgent and dire of breaking news, and is purposefully structured to give a sense of attention for the listener, almost sounding like an alarm. For local events, continuous coverage may be imposed, or else the station may wait until they have a reporter at the scene and will promise more details of the event as they become available.
National news that is broadcast over a radio network requires constant monitoring by station employees to allow the network coverage to air, although many stations will take the 'urgent' signal sent by the network (often sent within the digital stream of the network and inaudible to the listener, like ratings identifications) and break into programming immediately. Again, continuous coverage from a national radio network depends on the severity of the event, and often the network may just pass down the coverage by their local affiliate with spare commentary by the network's anchors. In the United Kingdom, Independent Radio News provides special alarm systems specifically to notify its affiliates of deaths in the British royal family, mandating their participation in heavily-coordinated mourning protocols that are practiced by the government and broadcasters.
Other considerations are made; FM music stations rarely relay breaking news unless it is an event of grave national concern, though local weather warnings are relayed when in effect (either in the form of updates provided by an on-staff anchor, a disc jockey, or the on-air staffer handing all station operations in an overnight period, an emergency alert system or through an audio simulcast of a television station which maintains a contractual partnership with a radio outlet). Less urgent events allow a network to feed updates to stations at :20, :30 and :50 minutes after the hour to give a summary of events. Stations are also careful about what stories are relayed during play-by-play broadcasts of professional and college sports, as those are the programs most listened to on the radio, so there, breaking news coverage is often limited to only commercial breaks or a promise of 'details later' after the event, within a station identification.
News bulletins have been a fixture of radio broadcasting since at least the 1920s. Examples of early news bulletins in the Golden Age of Radio include fictionalized versions in the 1938 radio drama The War of the Worlds and coverage of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which was also the first television news bulletin, reported on stations in New York and Pennsylvania. KTLA in Los Angeles is credited with being the first television station to provide extended coverage of a breaking news event: for 27 hours from April 8 to 9, 1949, the station carried live coverage of an attempt to rescue three-year-old Kathy Fiscus, who had fallen down an abandoned well in San Marino, California, where she ultimately perished due to asphyxia from a lack of oxygen.
In the decades before 24-hour news networks such as CNN began to exist, programming interruptions were restricted to extremely urgent news, such as the death of an important political figure. For example, one of the earliest such interruptions that modern viewers would recognize as "breaking news" coverage was for the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy in 1963, (with CBS News anchorman Walter Cronkite's coverage being especially noted), and as such reflected the relatively crude technology and procedures of that era. Such breaks are now common at 24-hour news channels, which may have an anchor available for live interruption at any time. Some networks, such as Sky News, largely emphasize this, even advertising the station/network as being " first for breaking news".
Another type of breaking news is that of severe weather events, which had such coverage evolve in a very similar manner. In North America until the 1990s, television and radio stations normally only provided long-form weather coverage during immediate, ongoing threats (such as a tornado that has been confirmed visually or by radar to be producing damage or a landfalling hurricane); cut-ins and, in the case of television stations, alert crawls during regular programming were used otherwise, even when higher-end alerts such as tornado warnings were issued. Advancements in newsgathering and weather technology (including the deployment of helicopters to provide aerial coverage and radar systems that can detect specific storm attributes), coupled with a few highly life-threatening events during the 1990s (such as Hurricane Andrew and the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak) and the resulting heightened urgency to advise those in the storm's path to take safety precautions in advance made extended (or "wall-to-wall") weather coverage once a high-end alert is issued more common in storm-prone areas, with cut-ins only being used in weather events of lesser severity. 041b061a72