breaking news

the Web Editors 03-28-2016

Screenshot via CBS News

The U.S. Capitol and the White House were on lockdown the afternoon of March 28 when someone opened fire near the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, according to DCist.

One Capitol police officer was shot, but not seriously injured, and the shooter was taken into custody.

Sandi Villarreal 05-15-2014
Slow down sign, Semmick Photo / Shutterstock.com

Slow down sign, Semmick Photo / Shutterstock.com

The hum of 24-hour “news” drones on in the background most of my days. I’m not quite sure what television media's version of “Breaking” means anymore, though what accompanies it is closer to this Saturday Night Live spoof than real life.

Something is always “breaking.” And someone is always responding. We feel the need to get there first, to offer the most unique point of view, to lend our “expertise,” or to speak on behalf of our [fill-in-the-blank]. Organization? Generation? Gender? Or some cross-section of all of the above?

I know. I can definitely be part of the problem, and in this, I attempt my confession — sometimes my judgment fails me and I fall into the trap of the sensationalized newsbyte. I’m the web editor of a publication — meaning, I solicit, edit, sometimes even write some of these responses, of which there are a variety.

We have the “first response.” They are those who get there immediately. On television, these might come with the Impact font-ed “Exclusive,” or even “First to Report” (gross). Sometimes they just recount the events. Often, they will include — whether by slant storytelling or outright commentary — their reaction to said events.

Then there’s the “second-day response.” More nuanced, and typically with corrected “facts” that first responders didn’t mind repeating ad nauseam the day before, these reports put the events into greater historical context — or at least whatever context the writer could whip together from Wikipedia entries and closest possible “expert.” (We have a missing plane? Look, here’s a flesh-and-blood PILOT to explain what happened.)

From there, you get the out-and-out commentary. The “here’s my take,” or “this is whose side I’m on.” Rarely unique, though under the constant illusion of specialness, these commentaries attempt to stake out ground for a person or group of people. This happened, here’s how it happened, and here’s where I [we] stand on it.

Inevitably, you’ll then get the response to the response: How dare you stand there! She’s missing the whole point of [news-making event].

And on it goes.

the Web Editors 01-23-2012

Dear Mr. President: Another Chance To Fight Poverty (OPINION); Elections Morning Digest: Gabby Giffords Will Resign From Congress; This Week Occupy's Latest Target: Citizens United Where Money And Politics Collide; How The World Could—And Maybe Should—Intervene In Syria; Is Our Economy Healing?; Brown, Warren Agree To Anti-Super-PAC Pledge, Other Candidates Could Follow; Florida Primary 2012 Likely To Shift GOP Candidates' Focus To Environment; Candidates' Stance On Immigration Reform Scrutinized Ahead Of Florida Primary.

the Web Editors 09-21-2011
UPDATE: 10:23 p.m. From Reuters and the Associated Press: U.S. SUPREME COURT REJECTS STAY OF EXECUTION FOR GEORGIA DEATH ROW INMATE IN HIGH-PROFILE CASE From Huffington Post: "DENIED"
Cathleen Falsani 09-21-2011


R.E.M. has ceased to be. The band announced its break up late Wednesday. And fortysomethings worldwide mourn the official end of our collective youth.

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