it’s not breaking!

I just wrote about breaking news last night. Geez, this didn’t take long.

So it’s now Tuesday morning, August 1. Today Show anchor Matt Lauer just opened the show on NBC with the line, “breaking news, Fidel Castro hands over power to his brother…” What? Breaking?! This happened last night. The world found out about this when a statement was read on Cuban television Monday night. The Houston Chronicle reported this issue at 11:30pm last night. The Washington Post reported it at 2:30am this morning (5½ hours ago). I just read this story on several news web sites, and there has been no new info since last night.

The fact that this story has not been on the Today show yet does not make it breaking news. It’s just news. This story already happened (past tense). There is nothing breaking any more! If you must use that term, then call it broke.
Now, I know some people will say, “well, I just got up and I haven’t heard this story yet.” True. That’s what news is for. You watch the news to find out what has happened that you haven’t heard about.

“Yeah, but today is the first full business day since Castro handed over power to his brother, this is an important story…” Yep. I don’t disagree with that either. Perhaps that qualifies it as a developing story. But it’s not breaking. “Breaking” is present tense. It means it’s happening right now, even as the news anchor is reading the story. It’s a term that’s overused by NBC and its affilliate here in northeast Wisconsin.

I think I’ve already solved my problem. Stop watching NBC and NBC26.