Like most other "exaggerated" terms, Breaking News has lost much of its glow. At one time, it was an exciting, "can't miss" tactic that made us stop in our tracks. And sometimes I still find my heart pumping when I see it on screen, although it depends on what station and in what context.
True enough, it is breaking news if it is "new" news. It just happened.....so without over-analyzing, it is sort of an accurate label. BUT we all know that it is usually meant to catch our attention, and make us stop to watch.
Some shows are a bit pathetic in the way they overuse the phrase. It becomes a bit like crying wolf, as some of us no longer believe it will be anything more than a small event. And even in sports, like NFL Network, sometimes the blurb on the bottom of the screen is not quite as new as they try to lead us to believe. I see "Breaking News", but I know the story.
But yes, once upon a time it was a big deal whenever I saw it show up. Just like all the huge stories in our lives, when we first get a glance at it, it has the propensity to charge us up. We are shocked or surprised or even stunned. But nowadays, with the sometimes "over dramatic/ratings based" injections of news, we can't help but get a little immune to the process.
Then again, I am as guilty as them.....as I can't resist a little drama now and again. Plus it is unfortunate but mostly true, that we humans can't seem to look away at the sign of an accident or something abnormal. It's in our DNA I believe.