People fleeing the Nice, Paris attack. Photo by GA Morrow.

Amazing stories from Breaking News users

‘I credit your app with saving my sister’s life’

(Updated) As the Breaking News shutdown date approaches, we’ve been inundated with thousands of shocked and supportive messages from loyal users of all political persuasions and many nationalities around the globe. Some are even in mourning, writing “I cry every day,” “Breaking News is an old friend” and “It feels like I’m losing a family member.”

But given our unique focus on public safety over the years, there are a few email messages that stand out the most. I’ve made them anonymous and excerpted the most relevant sections:

I was in Nice, France on July 14th. With thousands of others, I ran for my life — not knowing what I was running from…. Some people and I hid my room in my hostel, desperately trying to figure out what has happened and if they were outside — hunting…. I stumbled on your website, which finally gave us a clue what’s going on outside. You were the first to report. Having a clue about the situation, as messy as it might be, gave us a lot. We knew there is nobody in the streets, looking for game…. You cannot imagine how deep that breath was, when we couldn’t find information of any further hostile activity.
So I wanted to thank you. You helped me a great deal that night.”

My mother is a professor who teaches at the American University in Kabul, Afghanistan. Your report’s notifications when the University was attacked informed me almost instantaneously. I cannot describe how important the time factor was to me that day, but your reports cued my family and I to make contact or to at least try to reach my mother. In a crisis, being removed from the situation without having knowledge of the current situation in real time can be debilitating. For me, your services prevented that. I was able to contact my mother who survived and was physically unharmed, but really needed to hear a familiar voice during a tense, emotional situation. I attribute the comfort I was able to pass to her that day directly to your services. For that, I thank you.”

I’m a service member recently back from a 1 yr deployment. My wife is an avid BN subscriber/follower. Before she’s even out of bed in the morning, she often nudges me awake to read me one of your alerts. During our year apart, I found she was ahead of my intelligence apparatus in the combat zone. She regularly sent BN alerts to me which I forwarded to my intel troops — and we were ALWAYS in front of the news & intel cycles. Now that I’m back, we use BN to monitor my team mates still in combat, and to identify news closer to home that could impact or threaten our family. In short, BN is the best and certainly fastest news source I’ve ever had access to…. Perhaps without knowing, you provided a service to American and coalition troops. My family and I can’t thank you enough.”

Breaking News had its first of many messages about the bombs going off at a New Jersey running event. This was within minutes of the explosion. I was seated with local [federal agency] officers, and they did not receive any indication of the attack for another 20 minutes. When they did, they did not have the picture of the trash can that had contained the device, which Breaking News did…. The [officers] downloaded your app the same day.”

I was in the airport with thousand of people in Istanbul Turkey at 15th July, when there was a military [coup] attempt. We were extreme scared with knowing nothing happening outside. Thank to the breaking news app, it made it possible for us to know the situation. At the end, we left the airport after 40 hours. Thank you a lot for being with us for those hard 2400 minutes.”

I am writing to inform you that I credit your app with saving my sister’s life….Last November, my sister traveled to Paris for the weekend…. [She] and her friends were just heading out now to grab a bite to eat…. I received a Breaking News alert to the effect that gunshots were reported at a restaurant in Paris. My heart sank. I feverishly googled “shooting in Paris” and every version I could think thereof. Nothing. I turned on the TV and scanned all the news stations. Again, nothing…. I relayed the message to her about the alleged shooting and urged her to please wait a few minutes to verify she was safe before going to dinner…. I watched from a painful distance the horrors that took place in Paris, knowing my sister was trapped in an apartment just a stone’s throw away from many of the most deadly scenes that night. If I did not receive the Breaking News alert, there is no telling where my sister would’ve been when the city of Paris realized that a tragedy was unfolding.”

We’ve also received many messages from major companies, government agencies and news organizations who said they relied on Breaking News to improve their security, fact-checking and real-time reporting. We thank everyone who has dropped us a note at We’re honored to have helped so many over the years.

In the meantime, our team is looking for work, so please feel free to contact us directly with any opportunities or words of support.

See also: The 8 great innovations of Breaking News