Ping ping ping

And no, that’s not the sound of NHS Test and Trace telling me to self isolate, but BBC News app pinging up “breaking news”

I have to say, whoever is in charge of hitting send at BBC News seems to have been a little trigger happy lately.

During the pandemic, we got pretty familiar with the 5pm press briefing, yet most days I got an alert telling me to watch along live – not sure I need that given how regularly they were happening.

Saturday and Sunday saw the build up to a big sporting event – I had a ping about the press conference, a ping about Raheem Sterling’s rise to fame and a wider ping about the team. None of these are breaking news. None of these need a ping. I get football fever was sweeping the nation, but I’m not sure it counts as breaking news.

I’m not sure if the app’s views are down and so the intern has been told to ping out more stories to drive more traffic or if they don’t want me to miss anything. Even some of the lesser important pieces of news.

I’d argue the big reason for a breaking news alert this year was the death of Prince Phillip. Sadly for the app, I was on Twitter so saw it break there. And this I think is where the problem lies. Twitter has changed the way we consume news and so breaking news apps are now competing with journalists on the ground with 280 characters to spread the word.

Obviously, there is some authenticity that comes with the BBC branding that some unknown users on twitter don’t have, but I’d probably rate it more if the app pinged less.

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