Thursday, July 09, 2009

"Breaking News" or Give Me A Break?

In a relatively quiet and small town like Santa Barbara, the designation of certain events as "breaking news" can often be dubious.

For example, a couple of readers wrote on Wednesday morning to call my attention to the following story on KEYT's website:

"BREAKING NEWS: Helicopter Lands At Neverland Ranch"

The body of the story went on to reveal:

The blue helicopter did land at the ranch, while the second helicopter hoovered above the area.

"Hoovered" above the area?

As the late Don Ho was fond of saying, "Suck 'em up."

And, speaking of "breaking news," shortly before 3 pm Wednesday, the Superior Court announced that the jury had reached a verdict in the Jesse James Hollywood murder case. The announcement went on to say that court would convene at 4:15 pm for the reading of the verdict.

Within the hour the news had made it to the local social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. KEYT had it on their website as well. By 4:50 pm the news that he had been found guilty had made it to the social media. As of that time the breaking news update on was still "Car crash on San Marcos Pass," an item that carried a time stamp of 8:10 am. The Hollywood verdict news didn't make it to the News-Press breaking news crawl on their website until 7:08 pm, over four hours after it was announced that the jury had agreed on a verdict.

* * *

In case you missed it, or just want to see it again, The Future of Journalism Forum, held a few weeks ago, is now being shown on The Santa Barbara Channels.

Here is the schedule for the next few days:

Thursday, July 9 at 4:30 PM
Saturday, July 11 at 1:30 PM and 8:30 PM
Sunday, July 12th at 5:10 PM
Tuesday, July 14th at 11 AM and 9:30 PM
Wednesday, July 15 at 7:30 PM
Thursday, July 16 at 5:10 PM
Saturday, July 18 at 5 PM.

All showings are on Channel 21.
© 2009 by Craig Smith and