A Handy Guide To TV's Breaking News Alerts


What’s up with those animated breaking news graphics that come swooping onto TV screens whenever, say, the SEC charges Goldman Sachs with fraud?

You can check out each networks’ style here >
We spoke with Jeremy Pink, CNBC’s senior vice president of business news, to find out.

“Our breaking news graphics need to reflect the urgency of when breaking news happens,” said Pink. “We’re trying to convey a sense of importance through the animations. The colour red, we think, is a very noticeable colour. The music behind it conveys the appropriate sense of drama as well.”

Pink said CNBC just created a new breaking news animation for the network about a month ago. He said they change them up every so often but that there’s no set time limit for how long they’ll use a particular one.

Pink said the animations are a collaborative effort between himself, designers in the network’s graphics department and the editorial team.

“It’s a brand thing,” he said. “Everyone works on it.”

When the time is right, he said, a producer can trigger one of the animations from CNBC’s control room. But exactly how massive does news have to be to warrant one of these things flashing across the screen?

“It depends at the time,” said Pink. “You know when you know.”

Here’s your handy guide to what network breaking news graphics look and sound like >



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