|Utica Observer-Dispatch photo|
In a press release entitled “Let’s Protect Consumers From Cheap Advertising Tactic,” Roefaro’s office says his letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski was inspired by an elderly citizen who recently called a complain hotline to express frustration over spots that “try and trick people into thinking, even if for a second, that they are actually news.”
Roefaro goes on to explain the use of the term “Breaking News” may “confuse people, especially the elderly, into thinking there’s a local emergency.” Outside of the FCC letter, Roefaro says of the practice, “That’s wrong. That’s confusing. That’s false advertising.”
Currently, there are no regulations regarding the use of the term “Breaking News” on television or radio. Even within the scope of a legitimate newscast, there’s no universal standard dictating what qualifies as “breaking news” and what doesn’t. Theoretically, any broadcast news outlet could choose to label every single story in a newscast as “breaking news” — but knowing such a move would alienate audiences, stations are usually judicious about their use of the term.
Here’s the complete text of Roefaro’s letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski:
TomZTake: Nice try Mr. Mayor! However, he has a point. How many times have you seen your local TV label "Breaking News" to a story that actually broke 6+ hours ago? I see it often. I've have even seen an Orlando TV station use a promo bug stating "Live..Local..Late Breaking" during a NBC net provided soft feature from another state!