Factors That Determine What News Is Worth Reporting


News is a term used for a variety of stories, reports and other pieces of information that are broadcast on television, radio or newspapers. The purpose of the news is to inform and educate. It is not to entertain, although there may be some humour in the news.

The value of a story is determined by a number of factors, including immediateness and proximity to the audience. For example, a story that is about a fire at a residential home is more likely to attract readers than one about a man biting a dog.

Immediacy is the most important factor when determining whether something is newsworthy. It must be fresh and current; it must happen at the time when the public is interested in hearing about it. This can include incidents that are occurring in the present or events that are set to begin in the near future.

Proximity is the second most important factor, and it can be determined by a number of different factors, including distance from the audience’s place of residence. It is also affected by the type of people that are in the audience; for instance, a story about a school shooting is more likely to generate interest in the newspaper readership than a news article about a baseball game.

Personality is another deciding factor when it comes to news value, as is socioeconomic status. If a person is poor or in need of assistance, then their activities may have little news value. However, if a person has a good job and is able to support themselves, then their activity may have high news value.

It is also important to remember that news values can vary across societies and even among different cultures. For example, a farm wall collapsed, killing a cow and a pig could have a much higher news value in India than in Sweden.

How news is judged has been put forward as a scholarly explanation, with studies of published outputs and other research providing evidence (Galtung and Ruge 1994; Westerhahl and Johansson 1994). But the way journalists select what to report is not entirely objective.

Journalists have their own judgments about what news is worth reporting, and these can be refined as a result of market research (Fuller 2002). But these decisions do not represent the only factors that decide which news should be reported, and there are many arbitrary, sometimes unpredictable, factors that can influence the selection process.

In addition, a news reporter is usually required to attribute all sources of information in his or her articles, and it is important to indicate this clearly. The reporter can use direct quotes and paraphrasing to do so, but he or she must always identify the source of the material in the first reference and re-state it at the beginning of each paragraph.

The value of a story can also be affected by the style in which it is written, as well as by other elements that affect its appeal to the audience. It is possible to create a story that is attractive and readable while avoiding common errors such as spelling and grammar mistakes.

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