Breaking News

Information about Breaking News

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The format of a special report or breaking news event on television commonly consists of the current non-news programming (or, in some cases, regularly scheduled newscasts) suddenly switching to a reverse countdown, usually from 5 seconds, to allow any affiliated stations to switch to the network news feed (television stations typically do not provide these countdowns for local coverage, normally leading with a graphic and/or voiceover announcing the cut-in). If a national network newscast is in progress when the breaking news event occurs, the newscast will pause temporarily to allow other network affiliates to join the network news feed. There is then an opening graphic, featuring music (such as NBC's "The Pulse of Events", composed by John Williams) which adds an emphasis on the importance of the event. This is usually followed by the introduction of a news anchor, who welcomes the viewer to the broadcast and introduces the story at hand. Lower thirds and other graphics may also be altered to convey a sense of urgency.