By Faith Salie CBS News October 14, 2018, 10:10 AM BREAKING NEWS! Faith Salie has something to say about "Breaking News"

This just in! Faith Salie says that when 24-hour news channels label EVERY story as supremely important, the fake urgency actually discredits journalism.

CBS News

If you're just joining us, I'm covering some BREAKING NEWS! You know news is breaking, because I'm telling you so, and I might touch my ear piece like this, and it's also important you read "BREAKING NEWS" right there on the corner of the screen.


DON'T TOUCH THAT DIAL! We have BREAKING NEWS for you (after a few words from our sponsors).


And if you turn the channel to any other cable news outlet, you're going to see the same thing, SO DON'T LOOK AWAY FROM OUR BREAKING NEWS TO THEIR BREAKING NEWS!


We have BREAKING NEWS – the president is listening to a rapper!

Fox News

According to CNN and MSNBC and Fox, everything is important right now (which means, nothing is important). It's like the boy who cried wolf (Blitzer).


This just in! A rumor is actually just another shiny object!


Breaking news is not a new angle on an ongoing story. It's not that the President tweeted. And sadly, it's not that 45 million Americans are under the threat of extreme weather.

Historically, breaking news meant a trusted broadcaster interrupted a program with an urgent report of something everyone should know. This happened rarely, and we snapped to attention, because some man was making "As the World Turns" stop turning.

Then cable news was born – and 24-hour channels need news all the time.


We interrupt this satellite interview from Davos, Switzerland for this breaking news: a pop star is in a court hearing – and he's not even IN the courtroom!


But now that we can get stories with the swipe of a thumb from social and digital media, cable news begs for our eyeballs by breaking stuff.

Call it "Special Report" or "Happening Now" or "Just In" – we're not fooled. We're just too tired to change the channel.


Breaking RIGHT NOW! Sen. Chuck Grassley has an opinion on something that hasn't happened!

Fox News

Breaking news is not fake news but fake urgency. This discredits journalism. At a time when our press is under assault, a great way to up the cred of the Fourth Estate would be to discriminate in how it delivers its stories.


BREAKING NEWS! The president is using a pen!


We're hungry for depth, not drama.

We can all agree on this: if something keeps "breaking" all the time, it's broken.

For more info:

Story produced by Young Kim.

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