PRCA 3330- What Makes a Story News Worthy?

This weeks topic of the week is about what makes a story news worthy? So what is it that makes us pick up the news paper, stop at the channel, or turn up the radio station? According to Public Relations Media Writing and Techniques ( you can get it here, at Amazon.com), to make news you should strive for the following components:

1) Timeliness

News must be current. To be timely you should try to announce news when it happens, you don’t want to report something that is “old-news.” A great example of this is CNN. Not only does their website refresh without you prompting it but they have a twitter account which allows you to get news in real time when it happens.

2) Prominence

When there is a prominent person involved the story is more likely to be newsworthy. Suddenly an issue or event has celebrity status. For example, Tiger Woods’ apology was news worthy because of his prominence as a celebrity professional golf player.

3) Proximity

If something is taking place near to you, it is more likely to affect you, which makes it more news worthy. Students at Georgia Southern University, are more likely to read the George-Anne (Georgia Southern’s student ran newspaper) for information that may affect them.

4) Significance

Events that affect a substantial amount of people (example: the earthquake in Haiti) are seen as significant.

5) Unusulness

Things that are rarely seen or that rarely happen make the news. For example, the escaped Zebra caught on the highway in Atlanta was news worthy because it was rare and very unusual.

6) Human Interest

People like to read about other people. Putting a personal spin on a story helps it to become relatable and can make a complex issue (like the health care crisis) seem more simple by showing you how one person or family is dealing with that issue.

7) Conflict

When two or more groups have different topics of current interest news is created. This week on ABC’s The View, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Joy Behar argued over a joke made about Sarah Palin; an example of why the joke was news worthy.

8 ) Newness

The release of new things and upgrades of old things are usually seen as news worthy. The release of Apple’s Ipad was seen as newsworthy.

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