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Rantings and Ravings

Guest contributor

I'm not sure how we got to the point in our society that we seem to turn everything into a crisis. I am referring to the trend with the television news media that turns everyday occurrences into breaking news.

Each night during the five o'clock news there is a "breaking" story. Sure is funny that they all seem to happen right around the news hour.

The national cable news stations are not much better. There is one station that seems to continually run "news alerts" on stories that are months old. I got fooled a few times in the months following 9/11. I would see "news alert" as I channel surfed and I would jump a bit and stop to see what it was. It usually was about something that congress was going to vote on.

Well votes by congress are important, but are they really news alerts? What about an ongoing investigation in Aruba about a missing teen? Again, the story is important to the family and friends, but worthy of "news alert" status?

Now, this is only my opinion, but I think we are over using the "breaking news" and "news alert" terms. These terms should be used sparingly so that they get our attention about some matter that we might have to take action on.

A huge wreck that significantly alters traffic pattern, such as the explosion in Spanish Fork Canyon, is a great example of breaking news. A fire or chemical leak that might need evacuations is another example. A robbery at the 7-11 at 3:00 in the afternoon where police have no suspect is not breaking news at 5:00.

When we became so desensitized to something we begin not to even notice it. I worry that if the time comes for us to really need to know and take action, many of us will just ignore things until it is too late.

If others of you agree with me I hope you will write or e-mail the television news stations and voice your opinion. Maybe it would do some good.

Who knows.

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