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breaking news

Breaking news, interchangeably termed latebreaking news and also known as a special report or news bulletin, is a current issue that broadcasters feel warrants the interruption of scheduled programming and/or current news in order to report its details.

The format of a special report or breaking news event on television commonly consists of the current non-news programming suddenly switching to a reverse countdown from 5 or 10 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). 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 with 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.

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