One of the things that has contributed the most to the demise of the newspaper is the arrival of live news broadcasts. With the latest in wireless and satellite technology, reporters can cover events in real time for interested viewers. In terms of timely information delivery, this is no contest to the newspaper, which can only ever report on things that happened the day before the edition was sent to the presses. To learn more about live news feeds, how they're useful, and where to find the ones that interest you, read on.
Live news feeds work on the strength of the satellite broadcasting system. Cameras on the ground are connected to small dishes that beam the feed into orbit, where it is received by television satellites and transmitted to the broadcasting headquarters to be sent on to subscribers' via wired cable. Because of the distances the signal has to travel, live broadcasts sent from other parts of the world are often delayed by a fraction of a second, which you can notice when the news anchor asks questions of the reporter.
Live broadcasting has made it possible for news networks to be on the air 24 hours a day, reporting on the latest happenings in everything from international conflicts to weather catastrophes. This makes it possible for you to watch the news whenever it is convenient for you rather than whenever the network decides to show it. It also gives you near instantaneous knowledge of events in your region or city that are likely to affect your life directly, such as an increase in crime in your neighborhood or a traffic accident that will slow your commute.
There are disadvantages to live news feeds as well. On a smaller scale, it makes it possible for accidents, gaffes, and inappropriate comments to make it through to the viewing public before the network's censors have a chance to block them. In addition, 24 hour news feeds can make it difficult to turn the TV off and concentrate at work, especially if you're a news junkie or something interesting is happening. It can even get to the point where your quality of life is affected.
Typical live news feeds consist of an anchor or two at the news desk and a variety of reporters out in the field ready to be called upon when their turn comes up. These sorts of broadcasts are schedules, being reported on at a specific time, at least as far as events will allow. Breaking news will often pre-empt regular reports. Some stations that air live feeds regularly include CNN, CTV Newsnet, and the CBC News Network. Nearly every network has its own news subsidiary these days.