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What Is Breaking News?

Breaking news is a sub-genre of journalism that prioritizes continuous updates and an overall rationale for immediacy. As previous research shows, this entails the risk that journalism may not provide reliable information to its audience.

Live editors responsible for breaking news publish on limited and uncertain information. They justify this by balancing truth claims with expressions that imply uncertainty or suggest that information may prove incorrect.


Breaking news is a type of news that occurs as events are happening. It is information that is being reported as it happens, such as a shooting or a fire. It may also be a piece of news that is unexpected, such as an explosion or a hurricane. This type of news is important to report because it can affect people’s lives.

A breaking news story often interrupts regular programming on television or radio. For example, a breaking news story about a celebrity death might cause a station to pause a soap opera for the duration of the report. It also means that a news website might update its homepage to reflect the new information quickly.

The term “breaking news” originated in radio long before there was television. In fact, it was so important that a radio station would break from its normal broadcast to cover the event. The word was often used during weather emergencies, and was indicated with a graphic that displayed an alert crawl on the screen. In North America, this was commonly done during severe weather events such as tornadoes or landfalling hurricanes.


There are a number of types of breaking news stories. Hard news is typically based on facts and events that affect the world, such as terrorist attacks or natural disasters. This type of news is usually gathered by news organizations and broadcast on television or radio. Other types of breaking news include celebrity gossip and sports news.

Soft news, on the other hand, is often based on curiosity and appeals to the emotions. This type of news is not necessarily timely and might include a heartwarming story or an interesting fact. It is also known as infotainment and can be very entertaining.

Breaking news stories are primarily broadcast on television and radio, but they can be distributed in print or online as well. In television, a special report usually starts with a graphic and a countdown, followed by an anchor reading the headline and a short summary of the event. The broadcaster may then pause other regular programming, such as the NBC News program, and use a voiceover to alert viewers to the news event.


Having the first report on an important news event can be a major coup for newsmakers and reporters. Oftentimes, being the first to break a story gives you a “scoop” and can help your story go viral. It can also help you become an expert in a particular topic.

A breaking news story is a novel event of importance that warrants the interruption of regular news programming to cover it live. During this time, the anchor may be live on-site at the scene of an event or in the studio reporting from a different location. The lower third of the broadcast may be altered to display a special graphic that states “Breaking News.”

Breaking news is ideal for online content because it can help you rank high in Google searches. However, it is important to be careful about how you break news on social media because if you make a mistake, it could cause harm to people or compromise the integrity of your organization. For example, if you post about an important event that is happening at a school and erroneously assume that students are engaging in sexual activity, it could be extremely upsetting to parents.


Depending on the subject, breaking news can be sourced in a number of ways. The most common method is to use a wire service, such as Reuters or the Associated Press. These services are used by many different media outlets to share news reports that may otherwise be difficult to cover.

When it comes to breaking bad news, it is important to be careful how you deliver it. Some news, such as a loved one’s death, is too personal to be broadcast all over social media and needs to be broken in private. Having strategies for delivering unpleasant news can help you avoid causing unnecessary distress or embarrassment to the recipient of the information.

A good way to break news is to start with the most relevant and important facts about an event or situation. It is also important to note that the lead should not contain unessential or extraneous information. This can slow the story down and push readers away. Lastly, it is important to use the correct name of individuals. If using first names, both initials are often used for clarity and to prevent confusion between people with similar sounding names.

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