What Makes Newsworthy?


News is the information of current events, obtained at every moment and everywhere and presented in an objective way. It is an instrument that can teach and illuminate; but it can only do so to the extent that humans determine to use it for those purposes.

What makes a story newsworthy is not necessarily what happens, but how it is perceived. People can become very attached to an event or idea, and this attachment may lead them to believe that it is significant. This is the reason why the news has to be reported in a particular manner. It has to be told briefly so that the reader can read it, clearly so that the reader can understand it, picturesquely so that the reader can remember it, and above all, accurately so that the reader can be guided by it.

The five elements that go into a good news story are novelty, conflict, drama, consequence, and proximity. They are not always present in a single news item but the more that they are there, the better. The news must be new, unusual, interesting, significant and about people. This can vary from society to society. For example, a farm wall collapsing and killing one cow but not a pig may only be of minor interest in a farming community but a coup d’etat in the next country over is far more significant.

Generally, news about people will generate the most interest. This is because the human element is what attracts attention and empathy. People like to read about other people’s achievements, misfortunes and tragedies. People are also interested in the lives of prominent people, so any story about them will get some attention.

Conflict, arguments, charges and counter-charges are also good news items. These will generate curiosity about how the person involved is coping with the situation and about his or her future plans. People are also interested in the consequences of an event, such as a disaster or the effects of climate change.

People are interested in things that affect a large number of people. This is why global issues and world events often make the news. News about local events is also important, especially if they impact the economy of a region or city.

The decision about which events, incidents or ideas will be covered by the news media is usually made by a group of people working for a particular newspaper, radio or television station. These people are known as gatekeepers, and they have a huge influence over what is seen or heard on the news. The gatekeepers will take into account recommendations from reporters, assistant editors and other staff members. They will then decide what should be included in the newspaper, on the TV news line-up or posted on the Internet. These decisions are sometimes controversial, but they will usually be based upon a combination of factors. They will include: