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How Breaking is "Breaking News"?
How Breaking is "Breaking News"?
How Breaking is "Breaking News"?
How Breaking is "Breaking News"?
How Breaking is "Breaking News"?
How Breaking is "Breaking News"?
How Breaking is "Breaking News"?
How Breaking is "Breaking News"?
How Breaking is "Breaking News"?
How Breaking is "Breaking News"?
How Breaking is "Breaking News"?
How Breaking is "Breaking News"?
How Breaking is "Breaking News"?
How Breaking is "Breaking News"?
How Breaking is "Breaking News"?
How Breaking is "Breaking News"?
How Breaking is "Breaking News"?
How Breaking is "Breaking News"?
How Breaking is "Breaking News"?
How Breaking is "Breaking News"?
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How Breaking is "Breaking News"?

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  • 1. Crisia Miroiu, PG, University of Sydney
  • 2. Literature Review: Propaganda Model (Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, 1988); Manufacturing Consent defines the propaganda model as “an analytical framework that attempts to explain the performance of the U.S. media in terms of basic institutional structures and relationships within which they operate. It is our view that, underline the authors in their new introduction, among other functions, the media serve, and propagandize on behalf of, the powerful societal interests that control and finance them.” The propaganda model establishes five general classes of "filters" that determine the type of news created by mass media and disseminated to the public. These classes are:  1. “Size, ownership, and profit orientation of the mass media”;  2. “The advertising license to do business”;  3. “Sourcing mass-media news”;  4. “Flak and the enforcers”; and  5. “Anticommunism as a control mechanism” (, a more updated version of the filter should include also the anti-terrorism rhetoric).
  • 3.  Media Framing Analysis  "Framing means that the media choose to focus attention on certain events and then place them within a field of meaning" (Robert Wicks).  “The frame of a story may be driven by ideology and prejudice, by an interaction of journalists norms, and the influence of social groups" (Esrock et al.)  According to Robert Entman’s definition, to frame means to “select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient in a communicating text, in such a way as to promote a particular problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation, and/or treatment recommendation”.  Media framing researchers propose two level of analysis, one from the point of view of the creator of the news stories (the messenger) and one from the point of view of its receivers.
  • 4.  News Value Studies  Johan Galtung and Marie Ruge’s study of the structure of news identifies 12 factors: Frequency; Threshold; Unambiguity; Meaningfulness; Consonance; Unexpectedness; Continuity; Composition; Reference to elite nations; Reference to elite people; Reference to persons; Reference to something negative.  Allan Bell adds four other factors to Galtung and Ruge’s list: Competition - commercial pressure to get to a story first; Co-optation - a story mildly related can be interpreted and presented together with a major story; Prefabrication - if a story is already written and available press releases, wire copy etc; Predictability - more likely to be covered if prescheduled.  Harcup and O'Neill revised Galtung and Ruge's model, presenting ten important factors: the power elite (stories concerning powerful individuals, organisations or institutions), celebrity (stories concerning people who are already famous), entertainment (stories concerning sex, showbusiness, human interest, animals, an unfolding drama, or offering opportunities for humourous treatment, entertaining photographs or witty headlines), surprise (stories with an element or surprise and/ or contrast), bad news (stories with negative overtones such as conflict or tragedy), good news (stories with positive overtones such as rescues and cures), magnitude (stories perceived as sufficiently significant either in the numbers of people involved or in potential impact), relevance (stories about issues, groups and nations perceived to be relevant to the audience), follow-ups (stories about subjects already in the news), media agenda (stories that set or fit the news organisation’s own agenda).
  • 5.  Breaking news is the latest very important, urgent or surprising news.  We always had breaking news. One hundred of years ago, breaking news was brought to us by the special editions of the local newspapers sold down the street by poor young boys.
  • 6.  As television broadcasting widespread, breaking news began to win their place within the news culture, as we all are familiar with today. The man stepping on the moon and the assassination of President J.F. Kennedy were probably one of the most important breaking news of the 20th century. On Friday, November 22, 1963, all major broadcasters in the US forcefully stopped their programming and reported Kennedy's assassination, just have not called it "breaking news" but "news bulletin" or "special bulletin".
  • 7.  The term "breaking news", as it is known nowadays, was first used by CNN (the first channel providing 24- hour television news coverage) after its foundation in 1980 and the use of the term "breaking news" has become increasingly prevalent as 24-hour news channels gained a rapid development and proliferation.  However, since its first uses till today, we witnessed significant changes that the concept of breaking news went through over time. If two decades ago the golden CNN's "breaking news" banner was flashing on the screen, public knew that important events were happening - as the explosion of Space Shuttle Challenger; today, the red graphic used is present on the screen almost daily. What happened meanwhile?
  • 8. “Breaking news" originally signifies the "break" - the forcefully interruption of the scheduled programming by the broadcasters in order to report a current event deemed as enough important not to bare any delays in its presentation.
  • 9.  There are are two elements that deeply influenced the way breaking news were presented by media: the former one can be particularly identified in time as the 9/11 horrific events; the latter one covers a longer period of time corresponding to the wide extent of internet development that highly influenced news circulation and dissemination, both at a local and, especially, at an international level.
  • 10. Howard Kurtz, “Media Hype May no Longer Be Necessary,” Washington Post, 16 September 2001;
  • 11.  ABC/Washington Post poll on 11 September: 99 percent of the respondents followed the news on tv and radio  Harris Interactive poll on 11-12 September: 93 percent of the respondents followed the news on tv and radio as primary news source  Los Angeles Times poll on 13-14 September: 83 percent of the respondents watched the news “very closely”, 15 percent of the respondents “closely”, 2 percents of the respondents “not too closely”  Gallup Organization poll on 14-15 September : 77 percent of the respondents watched the news “very closely”, 20 percent of the respondents “somewhat closely”, 2 percent of the respondents “not too closely “ 1 percent of the respondents “not at all”
  • 12.  Pew Research Center for the People and the Press poll on 13-17 September: 74 percent of the respondents watched the terrorism news “very closely”, 22 percent of the respondents watched the terrorism news “closely”;  Pew Research Center for the People and the Press poll on 17-21 October: 78 percent of the respondents watched the terrorism news “very closely”, 22 percent of the respondents watched the terrorism news “closely”, 5 percent of the respondents watched the terrorism news “not closely”, 1 percent gave no answer;
  • 13.  Gallup Organization poll on 14-15 September: 51 to 58 percent of the respondents were “very” or “somewhat” worried that they or members of their families would become victims of terrorism.  Pew Research Center for the People and the Press poll on mid-September and mid-October: 52/53 percent of the respondents were “very” or “somewhat” worried that they or members of their families would become victims of terrorism.  Pew Research Center for the People and the Press poll on 13-17 September: 63 percent of the respondents could not stop watching the terrorism news; 77 percent of the respondents said that watching the terrorism news was frightening;  Pew Research Center for the People and the Press poll on 17-21 October: 49 percent of the respondents could not stop watching the terrorism news; 69 percent of the respondents said that watching the terrorism news was frightening;
  • 14.  Pew Research Center for the People and the Press poll on 13-17 September: 9 in 10 respondents rated the performance of news media as “excellent” or “good” (56 percent of the respondents / 33 percent of the respondents); “unprecedented” high approval rating
  • 15. Marvin Kitman, “The Nation’s Painful Video Vigil,” Newsday, 23 September 2001;
  • 16. Brigitte Nacos, Terrorism as Breaking News
  • 17. Ian R. McDonald and Regina G. Lawrence, Filling the 24 X 7 News Hole: Television News Coverage Following September 11;
  • 18. CNN 22 November 2010 FOX  Ireland: EU agrees to financial rescue  TSA: Enhanced pat-downs will continue  Jet makes emergency landing at JFK  Report: N. Korea claims uranium refining  U.S. hikers' Iran trial set for February  Man freed after 3 days in sunken shaft  Ice turns Minnesota into crash state  Ticker: Clinton's surprising decision  Iraqi reporter gunned down at home  Report: Saudi king seeks care in U.S.  Official: N. Korea Nuke Plant 'Act of Defiance’  Robot to Enter New Zealand Mine  Plane Lands Safely at JKF, Fire Reports Incorrect  Finance Ministers Agree to Fund Irish Bailout  GOP: Bill Gives Immigrant Criminals Residency  Iran Sets Feb. Trial Date for American Hikers  Report: War Criminal Lands U.N. Job  Newsweek Obama Cover Upsets Some Hindus  Catholics Debate Pope's Condom Remarks  Obama's 'Beast' Creates Stir at NATO Summit

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