Simon Says: ‘Breaking News’ is broken. Please make it stop!

HOUSTON-- I want to break down what I think is a big problem if you watch CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.

It used to be, "breaking news" meant actual news. Now, not so much.

Over a few hours recently, I watched the major news networks, trying to see how often they wanted my attention with what looked like a big story.

CNN uses the “breaking news" logo A LOT!

But what’s so breaking about waiting for election results or the polls about to close in Georgia?

Fox News likes the word “alert”.

They used it when talking about election security or the pending health care bill.  Not the kind of life and death kind of topics that make Me want to close my doors and turn out the lights.

MSNBC is pretty good about avoiding words like  “Breaking” and “Alert,” but their graphics have the same feel and tell us things we already know. Like how “Democrats are ramping up pressure on Republicans.”

Does this breaking news thing bother you? Does it dilute the message so much that when big things really happen, you have to take a minute to figure if it’s worth your attention?

That concerns me.

This point-and-click world, fueled by instant gratification, has everyone fighting to get our attention for a minute, instead of for days and weeks.

And since viewers have so many choices and options, I don’t see this Breaking-News-in-your-face thing changing very much.

So, get used to living like Chicken Little, hearing the sky is falling every day.

Because once you BREAK something, it’s hard to put it back together.