What makes news?

  • Impact: The number of people whose lives will be influenced in some way by the subject of the story.
  • Timeliness: Recent events have higher news value than earlier happenings. Of particular value are stories brought to the public ahead of the competition.
  • Prominence: For the same occurrence, people in the public eye have higher news value than obscure people.
  • Proximity: Stories about events and situations in one’s home community are more newsworthy than events that take place far away.
  • Bizarreness: A classic example of this is dog-bites-man vs. man-bites-dog. Man-bites-dog is more bizarre. Dog-bites-man usually is not news.
  • Conflict: Strife is newsworthy. War. Public anger or bitter disagreement over fundamental issues.
  • Currency: More value is attributed to stories pertaining to issues or topics that are in the spotlight of public concern rather than to issues or topics about which people care less. Stories come and stories go.

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