When Breaking News Isn’t Breaking News

Like many media-watchers, the first thing I do when I wake up is pull a giant bong rip to prepare myself for the onslaught of stupid D.C. bullshit I’m about to to face check my email. In my foggy, newly-awoken state, I glance through my phone at online sales, bad guest pitches and fan mail. (Hey, it could happen.) Most of all, I’m looking to see if I missed any major, Earth-shattering events while I was slumbering. So, Breaking News emails usually catch my eye. So, imagine on Monday morning when I have a Breaking News alert from CNN. Did we reach an agreement on the Fiscal Cliff? Did we find life on Mars? Did we kill Osama bin Laden (again)?

No, it was something FAR more important than that…

When we checked the actual email, this is what we got:

Pushpa Basnet of Nepal named 2012 CNN Hero of the Year. Basnet supports children who otherwise would be incarcerated with their parents in Nepal. She started a home in Kathmandu where children can receive education, food, medical care and a chance to live a more normal life. She also runs a day care program for children who are too young to be separated from their parent. For being named CNN Hero of the Year, Basnet receives $250,000 to continue her work. That is in addition to the $50,000 that each of the top 10 Heroes are receiving.”

It’s CNN blasting out the results of their award ceremony on Sunday night that recognizes “Heroes” who are doing great things in their community. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not exactly into bashing people who are doing things as great as this. So, good for Pushpa. But, CNN blasting this out as some sort of “Breaking News” item seems to be a little grossly underwhelming.

Cable news outlets, take note. Gather up several stories involving unspeakable tragedies. Then, throw a self-congratulatory awards night. To finish, send out a “Breaking News” alert that makes it look like the event that you created is actual news.



Publish date: December 3, 2012 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/when-breaking-news-isnt-breaking-news-cnn/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT