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What Makes It News?

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Matt Hubert

on 19 October 2017

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Transcript of What Makes It News?

News Element #5
News Element #1
News Element #6
Journalism is the first rough draft of history
–Donald Graham
Prominence / Celebrity
News is what is happening NOW. If it happened last month or last year, it’s not news anymore; it’s history.

Often, the most newsworthy element in the story is the most recent happening, the latest occurrence that relates to the news event.
If something is out of the ordinary, it may be newsworthy just because it is unusual or weird.

The strange or unusual is fascinating to many readers.

Events that happen only rarely are more newsworthy than everyday events.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
Vol MMXVI, No. 2
What is news value?
News Value
News Element #2
When a story has one or more of the elements of news, it has news value.

Some stories have more value to readers than others.

The more of the
8 news elements
that are present for a particular audience, the more value a story has for them as news.
How close to your readers did something happen?
Will they feel connected?
All other things being equal, something that is happening in a person’s school, neighborhood, town, or city is more meaningful to them than something taking place across the state or across the world.
What Makes It News?
Is a well-known person part of the story?
Readers like to read about people they know.
This includes prominent people in your school or city, not just famous celebrities.
News Element #7
Human Interest/Emotion
Does it make you laugh or want to cry?

Anything that appeals to readers’ emotions is interesting.

Stories that make people laugh, cry, get angry, feel sympathy or pity, or be amazed are often the most-read stories in the paper or on the website.
News Element #3
How will this event affect your readers?

Something that will change your readers’ lives, even in a small way, is more important than something that won’t have any consequences for them.
News Element #4
Is there a disagreement between people in the story? Rivalry? Misunderstanding?

People are naturally drawn to arguments, fights, disagreements and discord.

Stories related to war and politics, in addition to having impact, also are often interesting because they contain conflict.
News Element #8
Some stories are news simply because a lot of people are talking about them.

Often, these are stories that some people think are overblown or non-news, such as the birth of the royal baby or Miley Cyrus twerking on national TV.
Four other factors to consider
1. Audience
2. Policy
3. Competition
4. Presentation
Full transcript