BREAKING NEWS!– No One Cares Anymore!

You hear and read it all the time on news channels, online and on newspapers, but it is so overused that I’m not even sure it means anything anymore, much like other overused words. In a business that brings the news to the people, shouldn’t it mean something?

I was recently at a restaurant where a large tv was showing CNN, and the banner read “BREAKING NEWS!” A majority of the restaurant patrons turned to see what the big news was, but it was a simple change of search zone for the missing Malaysian flight 370, which we have heard constantly over the past three weeks. The exact second those words came out of the anchor’s mouth, everyone turned away and a man muttered “How is that breaking news?”

I sat and thought about it, and the man was completely right. The phrase this shouldnt be  should precede truly attention grabbing news. It’s a way to say, “Hey, something out of the ordinary is happening, it’s literally breaking the news.” but instead it’s become a classic case of the boy who cried wolf.

I follow CNN on twitter, and in the past few weeks with flight 370 and the whole Putin fiasco, nothing but small updates have been added titled “Breaking News.” As a journalist I am appalled by the fact that people who are so good with words, or are supposed to be, reuse such a basic term that should be reserved for something that truly breaks the average, everyday news.