Weekend Open Forum: How do you learn about breaking news?

By on January 6, 2012, 8:00 PM

How we learn about breaking news (world news, catastrophes, local happenings, etc.) has changed drastically over the past hundred years and even more so in the last decade. Scheduled print newspapers, once hailed as the most prominent source of news, have seen a steady decline in readership which was further accelerated by the growth of the Internet. Radio was once a popular medium to find out what’s happening in the world around you but again, popularity waned with the advent of television.

In this day and age, the majority of news gathering comes through the Internet or extensions of it. Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook allow users to post about events on-site as they happen which can literally spread like wildfire. Online news sites are also a popular choice and television newscasts still garner significant ratings.

With this week’s Weekend Open Forum, we want to know how you learn about breaking news. Also, what was the latest breaking story that caught you completely off-guard and surprised you not only because of its content but by the medium you first heard it from? Discuss.

User Comments: 42

Got something to say? Post a comment
Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I have a few apps on my phone that alert me to breaking news, and I've always got the radio on.

Guest said:

Usually my facebook news feed does a good job with that

tw0rld tw0rld said:

Believe it or not, from mi trusty ole radio. I am still in my 20's so hold the old timer comments.

Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

tw0rld said:

Believe it or not, from mi trusty ole radio. I am still in my 20's so hold the old timer comments.

I'm in my early twenties and I always have the radio on as well. It simple and allows me to do other things while getting the news.

Guest said:

Reddit works well, if you are on it all day :P

dustin_ds3000 dustin_ds3000, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

i go to websites like CNN, techspot, tomshardware, expreview, AnandTech, pcworld, geeks3d.

Guest said:

I've thought about this before. I stay pretty informed about what's going on in the world, but the only television I watch is sports.

The ways I learn about current events are:

BBC World News app that I check on the shitter.

One message board that I frequent, as people always post about anything even remotely interesting happening in the world.

Stumble Upon


The few blogs I read, but that's mostly tech stuff.

A small handful of actual websites, like ESPN.com and two local news websites.

And lastly, word of mouth. But word of mouth has fallen off drastically from "back in the day" cause these days it seems as though people are only into their own lives and could care less about anything other than what they do. The only time you can talk to EVERYONE about something that happened in the world is when it's the crazy **** that everyone knows about. Like school shootings and terrorist attacks. Past that, the only crap that nearly everyone knows about is Jersey Shore and I'd rather chew my arm off than think or talk about **** like that.

Kraemepoo said:

My WSJ email alerts to my phone win every time. I always learn of major world events before they break into TV or radio,

Guest said:

The internet as of late,,, I'm 63 so I have had access to all the media's including ham radio,,, the most important thing that has come out of the internet was wikileaks and how our own governments works and lie behind closed doors to deceive as turn us against each other world wide,,, I never met a person I didn't like once I got to know them,,, yes I have met some bad ones to,,, but that is what it nice about any media,,, you can always turn it off...

PEACE to ALL and hopefully better days to come,,, by now we know who is working against us...

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

National/International news usually through internet news feed or texts from news junkies.

Tech news through early breaking sites/forums (XS, XFastest, expreview etc.) and email/text/IM from friends in the OEM/hardware business and a friend at Microsoft.

The rest (aside from sport) usually from word of mouth, including the unwanted and unsolicited prattling of waitresses and a gay sommelier who aspire to be organic versions of TMZ, and who think that events involving Russell Brand constitute news. Oh, to be able to imitate Dexter.

/posted from the restaurant workstation

//hoping the semi-skilled labour get the hint

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Well, I am an old timer, and I get most of my news from the TV. Trust me, I've grown patient as well. In addition to being able to wait until 4:00PM on any given day for local news, I can easily hold out until much later, possibly as long as days.

Believe it or not, that's very easy to do, especially when the long range weather forecast is offering a consistent or persistent outlook.

Basically, the news consists of the same bizarre species, doing the same bizarre s*** repetitively. As for entertainment "news", Kim Kardashian's a** could either fall off completely, or expand to 3 times its current excess, (the more likely prospect), without one iota of impact on me whatsoever. When that baby finally blooms, just pray you're not trapped in an elevator with her....!

Although, I am hoping the some imbecile with a PHD will run completely afoul of any common decency or bioethics principals, by trying to clone "Snookie". After all, the world can never have enough mouthy, lard a**ed, high maintenance, drunken dwarfs, now can it?

I don't much understand the technical side of economic news. I can't get my head around the concept of "currency". It seems like you're imagining something is going to exist at some point in the future, printing papers as "proof" of that, then owing it to yourself. No wonder our money says, "in God we trust". He's the second unprovable truth of a whopper told, the first being the presumptive value of the "money" itself..

marinkvasina marinkvasina said:

I don't learn about breaking news at all, because mostly they are complete lies.

I only check techspot on the internet.

hitech0101 said:

Mostly through t.v.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

TV news channels like CNN, BBC and also their web counterparts. A lot of the newspapers also have online editions and those get updated quickly with breaking news stories.

TitoBXNY TitoBXNY said:

1010 WINS radio for local and world news. Techspot for Tech headlines, Gamespy, Game Spot, IGN for gaming news. ESPN.com for sports.

Guest said:

i launch mozilla firefox for my breaking news feeds from bbc.

technews from techspot, neowin, anandtech, and vr-zone (singapore)

for local news, i surf the online sites of my fav newspapers and tv stations...

Guest said:

I know about what's going on in the world usually through the Internet. There are some websites I visit at least once a day (some national, some international), and there's a feed on my Firefox toolbar that allows me to see a list of all the latest news on BBC.co.uk. Sometimes I heard about it too, or see someone posting on Facebook or a forum.

I don't really enjoy listening to radio, and I only watch television for like 30 minutes / 1 hour everyday, and it is a 24-hours news channel.

gcarter gcarter said:

i was ordering drinks in Costa Coffee and was about to use the check-in feature of facebook on my android phone, when I noticed someone had posted a link to a bbc story about Steve Jobs passing away...

---agissi--- ---agissi---, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I wait for it to come on TechSpot ofcourse. I dont have a television or watch it anywhere so.. and I should read more news but TS is my primary source.

Guest said:

I check TechSpot & my ISP's homepage almost daily for news. Sometimes I can catch things while browsing imgur as well. I used to listen to radio all the time at my previous job but I'm unable to at my current one. I'll rarely catch something of importance on Facebook.

odriscoll27 odriscoll27 said:

Believe it or not, from mi trusty ole radio. I am still in my 20's so hold the old timer comments.

lol same in my 20's n i like the radio

otherwise good old HTC normally updates me on various feeds

p51d007 said:

Top of the hour news, Drudge report.

Guest said:

The Alex Jones Show.

Guest said:

4Chan or Funnyjunk... Those people try to make anything humorous

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:


Reuters sometimes


MMO-Champion for Gaming


tonylukac said:

The last story that caught my eye was a big Indiana train derailment where more than 100 cars derailed (yesterday). Usually, tho, I get my news from reading the Chicago Tribune's website (we also get the paper but I seldom read it except for computer ads and the tv guide's sports listings), Yahoo's web site, AOL's website, email, and the Chicago Sun TImes' website. Now I'm told the Sun Times will only allow 20 visits to their website in a month. They can shove it.

tonylukac said:

To rehash, the derailment story I got on tv. The Sun Times requires payment for more than 20 visits in a month.

mosu said:

Radio-in car, TV and internet at home, news feeds at work, sometimes internet radio.

treetops treetops said:




word o mouth


in game conversations pc gaming

smoke signals

I was shocked Michael Jackson died hmm idk where i first saw it.

@capt Yeah its to bad our new money isn't backed up by gold anymore, they print more out without adding more gold and wonder why the value of the dollar declines. We still have all the same junk in the world we had before the economy went "bad", so our proclaimed dollar value of a object changed, its not like 1\10 of the worlds goods vanished.

gobbybobby said:


CVG (Computer and video games)

IGNs youtube channel, sometimes the site too

BBC News website (My fav with its sleek, modern user friendly look)

BBC news channel

Sky news HD news channel, although I dislike there "middle class" take on the news,

Facebook and twitter sometimes.

sometimes while I am playing games "Did you hear there's been an earthquake in Japan", I heard while playing a FPS on my PS3.

benken2202001 said:




Guest said:


Guest said:

By the time I hear about its already old news

matrix86 matrix86 said:

World and Local News: local news station

Politics: talk radio

Technology/Science: when at home, Techspot. When on the go, I use an app called "Pulse" (an RSS feeder. Subscribed to Techspot, Engadget, CNET, Popular Science, Digital Trends, Gizmodo, Geek.com, and PC World

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I stay away from news stories. I don't watch, read or listen to the news. If there's something important enough then people around me will talk about it.

theusmale2 said:

I use Google Desktops Web clips. adding rss feeds etc. example: pcmag.com,pcworld tech news updates,Tech spot, Vimeo.com,computerworld.com,cnn,msnbc.com etc. updates all day displays on my screens sidebar. add what ever u want to keep up with.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Mostly from Tech sites & forums / News (to a lesser extent, as their isn't any news worthy story most of the times anyway) sites, but sometimes from TV as well.

yowanvista yowanvista said:

RSS Feeds, Facebook & Twitter

Guest said:

1) My spouce calls me, 2) Radio, 3) RSS/Email, 4) TV, 5) Internet in general

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I listen to the local classic rock station before work and whenever I'm driving. That keeps me at least somewhat informed. Other than that Stumble & Techspot (of course). A few forums I visit semi-regularly help me keep up to date on world news.

Overall I wouldn't say I'm in the dark, but I don't really pay that much attention to the news tho.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.