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News values: eleven judgements before publishing

Posted by: | April 4, 2016 | No Comment |

There are essential elements that make up every good news story.

News stories answer the: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? Most news readers are aware of these six questions and look for the answers early in the article.  If an article is structured correctly, a reader should be able to find these answers right in the lede or the first two paragraphs.

(Courtesy of www.Tes.com)

(Courtesy of www.Tes.com)

Although, there many other values that contribute to the definition of news. Gerald Lanson and Mitchell Stephens, authors of Writing and Reporting The News, emphasize eleven judgments that journalism students should make when evaluating newsworthiness.

The facts and events have a great effect on the audience that are most newsworthy.  This would define the impact the story has on the reader.  Weight of the event or facts in the article have significance in its value. The arguments, debates, charges, counter charges and fights increase the value of controversy in the news. Emotion is great to have in a piece because it takes into account the human interest that touches the reader’s feelings. The unusual always catches a reader’s eye- using the old journalistic cliche- if a dog bites a man, it isn’t news.  But when a man bites a dog, it is news.

Prominence plays a factor into good news stories because more prominent individuals are given more attention.  Proximity of the piece gives us news that is of local interest.  The more people can relate to it, for example if it is close to home, the better. Timeliness is key, news emphasizes on what is new.  The stories being published must be relevant. The reporter must take into account what is on people’s minds, also known as currency. The article can also answer questions on the reader’s mind and help them solve problems in their daily lives.  It must be useful.

Lastly, the article must have educational value; making the reader more knowledgeable about the topic then they were before reading the article.


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