What Makes Newsworthy?
News headlines are everywhere. They’re on the front page of every newspaper and television set, especially during major announcements. Even politicians and royalty are caught trumping the press in their constant war to be the first person to have a news story. Even the most mundane pieces of information can be easily obtained through news headlines.
Newsreaders every day package this drama, so the public gets it straight and neatly packaged in reports, the very next day on television, radio or online and the following day at the newspapers. It’s all about the news value. Which one is more important? The big story will always be first in the front page, or in the lead story on Page One or even in lesser news sections of the paper; lesser news is often given in lesser detail the following day…
There are various news values that we observe regularly. These include accuracy in what we observe, the way it’s presented or communicated, the emotions felt in it, and how influential it is. Some may affect listeners/viewers differently than others, especially local news, and these values will certainly influence listeners/viewers in different ways.
For example, some may find the political news value in reporting the latest political drama unfolding as interesting, while some readers may not see the relevance. Similarly, some newspapers may have great sports stories, while others readers may be put off. But, what’s interesting to one reader is not always interesting to another, and what’s significant to one listener is not necessarily the same as significant to another. Different societies have different values towards the news. And so do different cultures and communities, and there’s no universal news value-unless, of course, news is considered a universal value.
This brings us to the second possibility. News can change perceptions, and so it may affect how many people view a particular issue. It may make newsworthy to one group, but not to another, and so it certainly has an impact on the information that circulates through our society.
So, what makes newsworthy? It’s largely a subjective matter. What’s news to me may not be newsworthy to you, and vice versa. Everyone has their own unique personal definition of what makes newsworthy, although most would probably define the first category as more important than the second. In the end, however, what’s news for me, may not be news for you, and what’s news for you, may not be news for me.