This is quite understandable. There can be a lot of hype, which can tire long-time viewers. But at the same time, don’t discount news that is indeed big.
Say the U.S. President called up a Secretary of State of a specific southern state asking him to "find" a certain number of votes. Or maybe that the U.S. President demands -- oh so subtly -- that a foreign nation help out with an possible investigation of a current political opponent, otherwise said nation wouldn't get already pre-approved military or other assistance for the U.S.?
This stuff would be big breaking news. In fact, it was.
Still, Chris Licht, the new chairman/chief executive officer of CNN Worldwide, wants to lower the volume -- thus putting some constraints over what is "breaking" news.
To be sure, CNN isn't the only network guilty of this high-level promotional practice. Some might point to MSNBC and Fox News Channel for doing similar alerts.
At the same time, perhaps CNN’s proposed effort looks to neutralize some nonstop opinion-based content, which all U.S. news networks have surrounded themselves in.It’s a jungle out there, and weeding of news content -- especially non-confirmed -- can be difficult. The trouble is -- there is a 24-hour/7-day news cycle that just doesn't stop. And not only from cable TV news. There are all kinds of social media news -- factual and not -- to contend with.
If you don't want to let people know about "breaking news," then you’ll need to find a way to sell them on less immediate, less "breaking" news with fewer alarming descriptors.
Should we see more straight-ahead TV anchors and news readers saying, "Here’s some stuff you may already have heard about. You may want to turn off your TV set, switch to another channel, and put your TV set on mute"?
If "breaking news" is firmly attached to a specific time factor, then we need to be clear about when to offer -- and describe -- other news information, maybe "yesterday's" news to some.
And if all this doesn’t work, I look forward to the day a cable TV news network offers up a different kind of banner: