Real significance of online breaking news : examining the credibility of online breaking news
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Breaking news implies that something urgent, important and newsworthy happened, assuming that viewers will be more curious about this event. As the mass media have continued to develop, the form of breaking news also keeps on changing. Today, the internet plays a primary role as a platform of breaking news. With online news services providing a plethora of real-time breaking news to audiences, there is a concern that online breaking news has little news value. Some scholars warned that the increase in the number of breaking news would finally impoverish the quality of journalism. Thus, this study tried to ascertain the credibility of online breaking news. This study conducted a 2 (news with/without breaking label) ⅹ 2 (high and low news value) factorial-designed experiment. The result of the experiment suggested that neither breaking news label nor newsworthiness would not increase or decrease the credibility rating. It would be possible to assume that there was no effect of such two components because audiences have already grown accustomed to the prevalence of the label breaking news and continual update of the headline of online news. Journalists might arbitrarily label specific news as breaking news, but they would keep in mind that calling something “breaking news” neither helps nor hurts.