Cure(?) for the "breaking news"-mania

There has been some discussion regarding the concept of breaking news and the urge for tech news sites to be first to post about something happening, even though they haven't confirmed it yet. It seems that it's more important to be first than to be correct.

We all know this. The page view race seems to make the sites to forget the main purpose of news sites, at least in my view, to provide accurate news.

My suggestion is as follows:

  • Never put an unconfirmed "breaking news" story as the top story. As long as it's not confirmed, it's not news. At that point it's just a rumour or speculation.
  • Mark the unconfirmed "breaking news" story with something visible, say a different background/border/headline color or a clearly visible tag saying "UNCONFIRMED" or "RUMOUR".
  • When/if I read that story, begin the story with stating that it's unconfirmed or just a rumour. Not all visitors are going through the start page, so it's important to make it really obvious that it's not confirmed.

All these points are very easy to implement, but the question is; are the tech news sites willing or even interested in doing this?

by Stefan Laketa