CNN Makes a Surprisingly Welcome Move That Fox News Should Consider, Too

AP Photo/Ron Harris

We often write stories that are critical of CNN, their “reporters,” and their bias and skewed priorities because quite frankly there usually isn’t anything good to say about what goes on at CNN.


But as the old saying goes, a broken clock gets it right twice a day, and we think we may have just found the one thing that CNN has gotten right over the last, I dunno, several years.

Per a new memo that went out to employees this week, the struggling network’s new head honcho Chris Licht has decreed that the constant use of the “breaking news” chyron/banner has to stop – effective immediately:

Why it matters: Licht and Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav have made it a priority to dial back on partisan programming at CNN in favor of traditional journalism.

“We are truth-tellers, focused on informing, not alarming our viewers,” he said in the note obtained by Axios.

“You’ve already seen far less of the ‘Breaking News’ banner across our programming.”

Details: Licht said he agrees with complaints from “people both inside and outside the organization” that the network overuses the “Breaking News” banner.

– “It has become such a fixture on every channel and network that its impact has become lost on the audience.”

CNN’s stylebook guidelines are reportedly being updated as we speak in order to more thoroughly address the issue and to pinpoint the times when it’s appropriate to use “breaking news.”


This move is something Fox News should consider doing as well because the term “breaking news” has not only lost its luster, but people don’t click on stories labeled “breaking news” as much as they used to because they’re so tired of seeing it used for stories that shouldn’t really be considered a hot breaking news story.

Like, for instance, Joe Biden’s every move should not be treated as “breaking news,” and yet that happens often – “BREAKING: Joe Biden boards Marine One for a trip home to Delaware.” And then there are the local “breaking news” stories that aren’t really breaking news, like “BREAKING: Sunrise in the forecast for tomorrow.”

The term “breaking news” used to be treated by readers and viewers as a signal the story was something important that they needed to read/watch, because it usually was something that people needed to know about. But it’s been so overused to the point it’s now become a cheap sensationalistic tool for the media – especially on cable news networks like CNN and Fox News, so much so that a lot of people simply tune it out and in the process miss something they shouldn’t have.


I know I’ve gotten really frustrated with Fox News many times when they’ve left the “Breaking News” banners up on their website and/or the chyrons on their channel for hours for a story that yesterday was legitimately “breaking” but isn’t anymore.

It’s time to get back to the days when “breaking news” was actual breaking news, and not just a way to try and grab the audience’s attention for a story that was undeserving of the label. Kudos to CNN for stepping up to the plate to make the change, even though their network has much bigger issues with their coverage to address in the coming months. They had to start somewhere, though, and this was as good a place as any.

Flashback –>> Watch: CNN+ Guest Delivers Uncomfortable Coup de Grace to Brian Stelter During Live Broadcast


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