Concept of breaking news

It has become a practice for all TV Channels to give Breaking News at regular intervals whereas this news is routine reporting of events. Since there is mad race to be the first to report the news so anyone who breaks ordinary news terms it as breaking news. Before we move further let us define what really we mean by Breaking News. As per definition Breaking news refers to events that are currently developing to events that are unexpected, such as plane crash, train accident, train derailment, hijacking of plane, bus accident involving casualties, building on fire, drowning of ship, earthquakes, target killings, bomb blasts etc. For giving breaking news normal transmission is interrupted and that particular news is aired. It is to inform people about latest, more important unusual happening and carrying some sensational developments.
But our media’s interpretation of breaking news is totally different. As mentioned earlier if the breaking news has an impact that’s fine, but if routine news is made into breaking news it loses its charm. Some of the examples of breaking news are so and so has reached the SC (when some one is involved in a case he has to reach the court what is strange about it) special security measures have been taken around SC (This is part of SOP what is new about it) CM Punjab visits flood affected area (He is supposed to do that).Flight number so and so could not take off in time due to technical failure (it is routine matter). Hundreds of examples can be given that do not fall in the category of breaking news but most of the TV channels follow this practice. Any breaking news must provide newsworthy information about recent event of interest to the listeners, if you meet an accident it won’t make news but if a minister or some VIP meets an accident its big news. Is it breaking news? We unnecessarily try to create sensation or improve our PR but at what cost. A minister once reached late at the airport so he missed his flight but it became Breaking news that so and so missed flight because he reached late. Anyone who reaches late will miss the flight does it deserve to be made in to Breaking news.
We all have observed in case of bomb blasts, target killings, accidents the figure of dead and wounded keep changing after every minute and every channel gives different figures that do not match with the ground realities. It is better to wait for complete authentic information rather than giving wrong figures that may create panic in the public
Before breaking news the most fundamental principle is its authenticity and correctness and the exact timing that can only be provided by the agency involved. Many examples can be quoted from the past when our media gave breaking news not based on actual facts must have created sense of uncertainty. Telephones start ringing up from all over the world after this so called breaking news. But the damage caused due to bad breaking news cannot be repaired.
At present there are no laws to protect the viewers from this agony caused due to incorrect breaking news and competition goes on First to report without realizing the extent of damage. The beauty of such breaking news is that every channel claims to be the first one to give Breaking news and also claim they have maintained their credibility being the first one to break the news. PEMRA should look in to this and must evolve a system to prevent such concept of breaking news and these should only be aired once cleared by the authentic sources. While breaking news it will be the right thing to quote the proper authority. In any case if by chance a wrong news has been aired and it can happen anywhere then we should have the courtesy to regret the wrong reporting and not hesitate in extending apologies as and when such inadvertent error occur. Breaking news in most of the cases is never good news therefore due care caution must be exercised.
Social media these days is crowded with false and fake news; so much so fake notifications of ministries are posted. Thank God government has taken notice of such posts. The government should be strict on such fake news and the originator can be traced out and after trace must be given deterrent punishment to serve lesson for others, we have turned this great facility in to Tamasha and that needs to be controlled.

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