Sunday, 6 December 2009

News Values

1. Unexpectedness: 'Man bites dog' is news. If an event is highly unpredictable, then it is likely it will make it into the news.

2. Unambiguity: Events whose implications and meanings are clear make for a better story than those that are open for interpretation or need more explanation.

3. Personalisation: Events that can be portrayed as the actions of individuals will be more attractive than one in which there is no such "human interest".

4. Continuity: Once an event has been covered, it is convenient to cover it some more - the running story. -This will very much depend on the nature of the event. E.g. The war in Afghanistan.

5. Reference to elite nations: Those nations which are closest to our own will receive most of the coverage.

6. Reference to elite persons: The media may pay attention to important people; "The Labour Party leader falls in sea" - That is news.

7. Composition: Stories must compete with eachother for space within the media. For example, if a newspaper already has several foreign news item, the elast important news item might have to make way for a domestic news item.

8. Visual imperatives: The 9/11 terror attacks, in which the death toll was almost 3000, provided a series of powerful images. Terro attacks in the Congo have claimed 3million people, but because the cameras weren't there, the violence isn't as well-known.

9. Negativity: Bad news is good news.

10. Logistics: Although eased by the availability of global communications even from remote regions, the ability to deploy and control production of reporting staff, and functionality of technical resources can determine whether a story is covered.

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