What Makes Newsworthy?
News is a way for a society to keep up with its environment. The information is presented to the public through various mediums in an accurate and fast manner. It is not supposed to contain any bias or propaganda but should be unbiased in accordance with strict ethical rules.
Typically, the news will focus on things that are new or unusual. This can include the death of a famous person, a scandal involving a politician, a terrorist attack, a major business deal or an accident resulting in injuries to many people. The news will also cover things that affect the whole society such as weather changes, crop diseases and disasters. It will also cover the entertainment world including music, theatre, cinema and carving. People will be interested in the lives of prominent men and women such as actors, singers and sports figures. It is particularly interesting when they fall out of favour or become involved in scandals. People are also interested in their health, so stories relating to hospitals and clinics, medical research and traditional remedies will make the news. People are also interested in food and drink, so shortages or gluts, the price of food and drinks, the quality of crops and the launch of a new product will be reported. All societies are interested in sex, so stories involving the sex lives of famous people will be of interest, especially when they go against socially acceptable standards.
It is often difficult to determine what makes something newsworthy. In order to decide this it is necessary to understand the societal needs, values and expectations of the society that is being served by the news. News should be entertaining, interesting and informative in order to appeal to the audience. It should not, however, be too dramatic or sensational. It is also important for the news to be timely and relevant.
A key characteristic of the news is that it should be about a subject of great interest to the intended audience. It is important to remember that the news will be presented in a way that appeals to a specific culture, time period or region. This will influence how the news is interpreted and perceived.
The following sections of this LAMPLit have more information about what makes something newsworthy. Each section also includes a short list of references for further reading on the topic, as well as links to online resources that adhere to the Associated Press guidelines to journalism and the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics.
An article is considered newsworthy if it has drama, consequences and timeliness. It is usually something that has not happened before, is unusual or is of high significance to the audience. For example, missing the bus on your way to work and walking the whole journey might not be newsworthy, but if you encountered a litter of baby tigers on your walk it might. These are the types of events that would be covered in a local newspaper or on TV.