Breaking News Clearinghouse

PMJA has developed this clearinghouse of Breaking News Plans to share among member stations.  If you’d like to contribute your plan to this project, please contact Christine Paige Diers at

  • To define what WNYC (New York, NY). means by urgent breaking news, they’ve created a simple, three-level system so that people inside and outside of the newsroom are on the same page about what kinds of stories could merit a program interruption or a disruption to normal routines. 

  • St. Louis Public Radio (St. Louis, MO) developed its Breaking News Plan following the Michael Brown shootings in Ferguson, MO and the unrest that followed.  

  • With two full-time news staffers and a format that is largely music-based, WFUV (New York, NY) wanted to clearly establish who would be disseminating breaking news in various scenarios– when is it the newsroom’s sole responsible, is it okay for just the music host to relay the information, etc?  

  • WUOT (Knoxville, TN) has a plan that uses the “streetlight” model to determine emergency level. This plan is specifically designed for smaller stations.  It also includes a “What We Know” component that goes out over the station’s web site during breaking news.