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What is News?
Morgan Andrews
How do journalists decide what is news and what is
not?
How do they distinguish between a big news story
and a small one?
...
What is news?
For example, which do you think is more interesting:
a) A girl going to primary school, to high school, or t...
• Every one of these events might be news for the
community in which it happens, but some are more
newsworthy than others....
What is news?
• The same event can have different levels of interest
in different societies, and will be talked about in
d...
News criteria
The criteria by which news is judged are:
• Is it new?
• Is it unusual?
• Is it interesting or significant?
•...
News Values
In 1965, media researchers Galtung & Ruge analysed
international news stories to find out what factors they had...
News Values - Negativity
Bad news - involving death, tragedy, bankruptcy,
violence, damage, natural disasters, political
u...
News Values - Proximity
aka Closeness to home
Audiences supposedly relate more to stories that are
close to them geographi...
News Values - Recency
Newspapers are very competitive about breaking
news - about revealing stories as they happen. 24
hou...
News Values - Currency
This is almost opposite to recency, in that stories that
have been in the public eye for some time ...
News Values - Continuity
Events that are likely to have a continuing impact (a
war, a two week sports tournament) have a h...
News Values - Uniqueness
'Dog Bites Man' is not a story. 'Man Bites Dog' is. Any
story which covers a unique or unusual ev...
News Values - Simplicity
Obvious, but true. Stories which are easy to explain
('Cat stuck up tree') are preferred over sto...
News Values - Personality
Stories that centre around a particular person,
because they can be presented from a 'human
inte...
News Values - Predictability
aka Expectedness
Does the event match the expectations of a news
organisation and its audienc...
News Values - Elite Nations
or People
Any story which covers an important, powerful nation
(or organisation) has greater n...
News Values - Exclusivity
Also a major factor when setting the news agenda. If
a newspaper or news programme is the first a...
News Values - Size
does matter when it comes to news stories. The
bigger impact a story has, the more people it affects,
t...
Exercise:
In pairs, arrange the following news stories from most to least
newsworthy to British audiences. Write down the ...
How the guardian organised them…
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What is news?

What is news?

What is news?

  1. 1. What is News? Morgan Andrews
  2. 2. How do journalists decide what is news and what is not? How do they distinguish between a big news story and a small one? The answer is that they do it in exactly the same way as everybody else. Everybody makes those same judgments whenever they decide to talk about one event rather than another.
  3. 3. What is news? For example, which do you think is more interesting: a) A girl going to primary school, to high school, or to university? b) A man aged 25 marrying a girl aged 20, or a man aged 55 marrying a girl aged 15? c) A car killing a chicken, a pig or a child?
  4. 4. • Every one of these events might be news for the community in which it happens, but some are more newsworthy than others. • You very likely answered that the most interesting things were a girl going to university, a man aged 55 marrying a girl aged 15, and a car killing a child. If your answer was different, though, it does not necessarily mean that you were wrong. What is news?
  5. 5. What is news? • The same event can have different levels of interest in different societies, and will be talked about in different ways. If a farm wall has collapsed, killing a cow and a pig, which is more important? Clearly, the answer will vary from one society to another, depending upon the relative importance of cows and pigs. • For this reason, the content of the news can be different in different societies. The way in which the news is judged, though, is the same everywhere.
  6. 6. News criteria The criteria by which news is judged are: • Is it new? • Is it unusual? • Is it interesting or significant? • Is it about people? For further information click here
  7. 7. News Values In 1965, media researchers Galtung & Ruge analysed international news stories to find out what factors they had in common, and what factors placed them at the top of the news agenda worldwide. They came up with the following list of news values. - a kind of scoring system - a story which scores highly on each value is certain to come at the start of a TV news bulletin, or make the front page of a newspaper. Journalists and editors also draw heavily on their experience - of what an audience expects, of what stories have had a major impact on public consciousness in the past, of what is important - and each news organisation will have their own system of setting a news agenda.
  8. 8. News Values - Negativity Bad news - involving death, tragedy, bankruptcy, violence, damage, natural disasters, political upheaval or simply extreme weather conditions - is always rated above 'positive' stories (royal weddings, celebrations etc)
  9. 9. News Values - Proximity aka Closeness to home Audiences supposedly relate more to stories that are close to them geographically, or involve people from their country, or those that are reported that way(eg '12 Hong Kongers aboard Australia Crash Plane'). News gatekeepers must consider carefully how meaningful a story will be to their particular audience
  10. 10. News Values - Recency Newspapers are very competitive about breaking news - about revealing stories as they happen. 24 hour news channels such as CNN and BBC World also rate this value very highly. However, as we have seen with the events of September 11, stories may take a while to develop, and become coherent, so recency is not always the best value to rate.
  11. 11. News Values - Currency This is almost opposite to recency, in that stories that have been in the public eye for some time already are deemed valuable. Therefore a story - for instance about the abduction and murder of a child - may run for weeks and weeks, even if nothing new really happens.
  12. 12. News Values - Continuity Events that are likely to have a continuing impact (a war, a two week sports tournament) have a high value when the story breaks, as they will develop into an ongoing narrative which will get audiences to 'tune in tomorrow'.
  13. 13. News Values - Uniqueness 'Dog Bites Man' is not a story. 'Man Bites Dog' is. Any story which covers a unique or unusual event (two- headed elephant born to Birmingham woman) has news values
  14. 14. News Values - Simplicity Obvious, but true. Stories which are easy to explain ('Cat stuck up tree') are preferred over stories which are not (anything to do with the Balkan or Palestinian conflicts)
  15. 15. News Values - Personality Stories that centre around a particular person, because they can be presented from a 'human interest' angle, are beloved of newspapers, particularly if they involve a well-known person. Some say this news value has become distorted, and that news organisations over-rate personality stories, particularly those involving celebrities ('Kate Middleton Goes Shopping'). What do you think?
  16. 16. News Values - Predictability aka Expectedness Does the event match the expectations of a news organisation and its audience? Or, has what was expected to happen (violence at a demonstration, horrific civilian casualties in a terrorist attack) actually happened? If a news story conforms to the preconceived ideas of those covering it, then it has expectedness as an important news value
  17. 17. News Values - Elite Nations or People Any story which covers an important, powerful nation (or organisation) has greater news values than a story which covers a less important nation. The same goes for people. Barack and Michelle Obama are newsworthy whatever they do.
  18. 18. News Values - Exclusivity Also a major factor when setting the news agenda. If a newspaper or news programme is the first and only news organisation breaking a story, then they will rate that very highly. The UK Sunday papers are very fond of exclusives, and will often break a story of national or international importance that no one else has.
  19. 19. News Values - Size does matter when it comes to news stories. The bigger impact a story has, the more people it affects, the more money/resources it involves, the higher its value. This is also known as threshold.
  20. 20. Exercise: In pairs, arrange the following news stories from most to least newsworthy to British audiences. Write down the news values present to help support your organisation. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/10/el-chapo-caught-on- camera-by-sean-penn-as-biopic-mystery-unfolds http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jan/10/record-national- lottery-jackpot-of-66m-shared-by-two-winners http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jan/10/david-cameron- parents-children-lessons http://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/jan/10/channel-seven- reporters-hug-of-weather-presenter-sparks-chris-gayle-comparisons
  21. 21. How the guardian organised them…
  • SwaswatiBorah1

    Feb. 9, 2021

What is news?

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