During the twentieth century, television and radio became important ways of transmitting news. Before this, printed news had to be delivered to a newsroom by a reporter. Today, it is possible to receive breaking news on your mobile device. Moreover, social media networks are creating new opportunities for automated news gathering. As such, the boundaries between commercial and non-profit media have become more blurred.
Traditionally, news has been classified as either “soft” or “hard”. Traditionally, news values have tended to favour “hard” news. However, recent literature has examined how the values of news stories have changed in the digital age. In particular, the authors have looked at how news values have changed in mainstream journalism.
News values provide a shared operational understanding of what working journalists are expected to produce. They are conveyed to journalism students and trainees. However, they cannot explain all aspects of journalistic news decisions. Rather, they provide a partial explanation. News values are influenced by a number of factors, including the internal system of beliefs of journalists and external factors such as the belief systems of other people.
Journalists select news stories for a variety of reasons, such as their potential impact on their audiences. They determine the facts to highlight and the focus of the story. They also lay out the facts in a sterile manner, aiming to remain neutral. Although journalists are expected to remain objective, news values also influence their prejudices and biases. They may override other news values.
In order to understand news values, scholars have looked at both the content and the processes of news making. These processes include defining what news is, how news is produced, and how it is distributed. Some researchers have also studied cultural, economic, and organisational factors. Other scholars have used their own experience to develop conceptual models of news values.
One of the first studies to study news values was by Galtung and Ruge, who developed a taxonomy of news values in 1965. Their work was part of a larger study on foreign news in the Norwegian press. The authors hypothesized that the selection criteria for news stories would be based on three major news values: magnitude, exclusivity, and doxic. They then tested these assumptions.
Galtung and Ruge’s findings were criticized by others. For example, Herman and Chomsky argued that news values tended to favour powerful elites. Other scholars, such as Staab, have argued for a functional model of journalism. A study by Shoemaker and Cohen (2006) found that news values are common in many countries.
While scholars have studied news values in various contexts, it is often difficult to determine the impact news values have on journalistic decisions. Moreover, news values are often used by other people to ensure they receive the most news coverage. For example, news stories that have a high impact can be easily understood by readers. Similarly, some news stories can be interpreted as “bad news” if they have negative overtones.