Breaking-down News

I have always been fascinated by how similar situations happen everyday over the world spontaneously, but what makes the national platform as “breaking news” has followed an agenda, and how “breaking news” then becomes the situation everyday people pay attention to, instead of the situation-at-hand that people can believe in. When “breaking news” interrupts our programming, its spontaneity is almost like an onomatopoeia for reaction and not simply, action. We are thrown under the assumption that tragedy should evoke a certain reaction, and not taken by the authority that our actions effect how news remains. The media that has announced this assailable thing called “breaking news” is entrusted with the tasks of causing both a reaction and an action, which will not only alter how news is presented, but what news will be represented. As the landscape of media has expanded beyond television, a field for media has stretched itself to define where “breaking news” lands, but the possibilities for media portrayal will redefine what “breaking news” means.

What constitutes as ” breaking news” leads to a return to the original power of people: our 5 senses. Our 5 senses are shaken by news, however startling, and the so-called “6th sense” is the ability to control them. When an individual dies from a shooting versus a car crash, our ability to see, hear, touch, smell, and taste remain the same, but our ownership of those feelings is what makes the difference in how the next report will have an impact, however different the details of the cases are. When an individual dies from a shooting versus someone you know who dies from a shooting, an individualized connection to this news depends on such details, whether those details carry a matter-of-fact about our feelings toward other cases of the same nature. When an individual has not died, yet wounded by a gunshot or a car crash, such details are then reported depending on the propaganda of our senses, the challenge of our ability to communicate them when a tragedy has not seemingly struck as bad consistently.

One media headline can make our attention lackadaisical toward similar situations that are potential headlines, which throws us under an impression that popularity is what will make our cases important. Though there is importance in popularity to gather support for spreading awareness, our support systems must consist of individuals whose consciousness will not arise merely out of information-spreading, but the creation of alternative information. Through alternative information, lives have been transformed beyond the nation’s normalcy in media, yet without forgetting the nation’s formation of the values we first sought to deliver. As we seek more platforms to hold our many representations—especially in regard to race, gender, age, and sexuality—we have to create comfort within our individual senses to behold these subjects for the possibility of breaking news that will not bend the story just to break the news.

I think of the violent cases that do not make so-called “national headlines” where reasons are covered in politics of identity, but I am concerned with the cases that do not make headlines because we have failed to deliver the system with our stories. I am concerned with the cases that do not make headlines because we do not desire to negotiate the system’s story within our stories. I am concerned with the cases that simply do not make headlines. There will never be a better time for stories than the moment an individual begins to tell their own without the purpose of becoming “breaking news” for someone else to report or capture.

Granted, a system needs a national example, but those examples are made out of the spontaneity which cannot be explained from the violence that invades our individual and systematic spaces.

Keep in mind that examples are also made out of the consistency in describing our human senses through a simple story, and those are the systems individuals need.


Sister Kahrima


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