What Makes an Event News?

News is what people hear and read about on their radios, televisions and the Internet.

The news we receive every day is the current information about what is happening in the world today. This information doesn’t necessarily have to be the most recent or even the most important.

What Makes an Event News?

There are several factors that contribute to the way we judge whether something is news. These include drama, importance and timeliness.

Drama: Events and situations that are dramatic are more likely to be news, because they make people care about what is happening. A news story about a robbery at a convenience store is more likely to be news than a story about a car crash, because the drama of who was good and who was bad in this situation makes it more interesting to listen to or read about.

Timeliness: A news story about the collapse of a farm wall killing two cows can be news because it happened yesterday, but a story about an assassination of Mrs Gandhi is not news because she didn’t die until tomorrow.

Importance: The importance of an event will depend on the culture in which it is being reported. For example, if an insect is threatening people’s food crops, this is news because it affects them.

Other elements of news value are celebrity, entertainment and human interest. All societies are interested in what famous men and women do, what they look like and how they live their lives. Health stories, traditional remedies, medical research, diseases and hospitals are also of interest to many people. Sex stories are of particular interest to many societies, because they involve behaviour which goes outside society’s generally accepted standards.

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