MEDIA
01/16/2015 11:13 am ET Updated Jan 16, 2015

BREAKING NEWS SIREN: Politico Installs A Breaking News Siren

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WASHINGTON -- Imagine that you're a reporter on the phone with a source. Suddenly, a flashing red light pops up in the newsroom. After you overcome your brief panic attack that you're being pulled over for speeding, you realize that you're not in a car, you're at work.

Then you remember that it's the new siren editors have installed to reward reporters who break news.

This is actually happening at Politico. On Friday, executive editor Jim VandeHei sent a memo to staff informing them that they were getting a siren to encourage scoops. From the internal memo obtained by The Huffington Post:

Is Blake really installing a siren in the newsroom?

Yes. He and Susan want people jacked when we break news, whether it's a quick hit from one of our policy teams or a holy-crap scoop from the Congress gang. It has been and always will be our core strength.

A Politico employee told The Huffington Post that management has ordered two sirens to test out -- one that makes noise and one that doesn't.

Politico is not the only news outlet that has embraced the siren. The Drudge Report has put siren gifs at the top of its site for years to indicate breaking news. The Huffington Post has been known to deploy breaking news sirens on its front page as well.

UPDATE: 12:55 p.m. -- New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt tweeted that his paper's bureau in Washington, D.C. also has sirens for breaking news.

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