Tuesday, April 16, 2019

A to Z Challenge - N for News value

Theme - Journalism jargons
News value is what determines which news is important and which is not. Yes, it is subjective. What is important for you, might not be important for me; and vice versa.

However, there are a few general guidelines that are followed to determine news value. Here they are:

PROMINENCE - When prominent people say something that becomes news. That is why there is a greater probability of what President Trump of the US says making to the media around the world, compared to the statements made by other heads of state. Similarly, when something eventful has happened at a prominent building or place, that is news. For example, the fire at Notre Dame in Paris has surely made it to the front page of almost all major newspapers in the world.

PROXIMITY - A news development close to the place of publication becomes important. These are generally what gets termed as local or city-centric news items. Report of a major car crash in New York will be in New York papers, but it won't be there in any newspaper in other parts of the world.

NEWNESS - The latest development gets priority over stories that are older. Thus we have 'breaking news'.

IMPACT - The more widespread the impact of a news development, the more important it becomes. That is why government policy decisions, however boring it could be, are important.

UNIQUENESS - Something that is unusual, out of ordinary, that raises curiosity becomes news. Thus the famous adage: 'When a dog bites man it is not news, when a man bites dog it is news.'

(This post is a part of the "Blogging from A to Z Challenge April 2019".)


  1. Thanks for visiting my site. Apparently, I still have credentials I can use on Blogger. I like the way you presented this.

  2. Interesting and useful information in this post Pradeep. You mentioned Trump under “Prominence”. Sometime this could produce an unexpected and opposite result. One of the blame game now is the TVs and Newspapers gave too much prominence to candidate Trump in 2016 and were indirectly responsible for his win. The school of thought is if he was not given that much exposure, he would have lost the election.

  3. Ah, how to figure out what's news...

  4. Oh, the Notre Dame cathedral fire makes me sad. Thought provoking post. It makes sense. Thank you for sharing.

  5. There was something you missed ...it has to break !! Every news is breaking news these days ... :) i decided to give A to Z challenge a miss this year ... churning out posts at my own pace :)

  6. @ Dan - Thank you. Glad you are able to use the Google credentials.

    @ Rajan - That's a discussion we keep having in our newsroom, just as in any other newsroom. There is no template or formula like "this is the right amount of coverage for this story".

    It's anyone's guess if the media had ignored Trump whether that would have had any impact on the polls.

    If we go back and study his interactions with the media right from the time when be became an entrepreneur, more than 30 years ago, he is one who likes publicity. When he shreds media to pieces, then also he knows that it's going to be all over the media. I have a feeling that he loves the media, CNN and NYT as much as Fox.

    @ Liz - Yes, a rough formula to go by, with some exceptions here and there.

    @ Darla - Thank you.

    @ Jayashree - That's a good observation!

    I noticed that you aren't taking part this time. By the way, I decided to take part last year after seeing your post on the Challenge.

  7. But when while going through the dailies, many a time I have felt'this
    news should come on the front page' for certain ones on the inner page. Any way you have briefed it well, Pradeep.

  8. @ Rudraprayaga - Thanks, Sarala, for the comments.

  9. Hi Pradeep - that was an interesting take on what makes something newsworthy - and it all made complete sense as I read through them. Nice to see you past the halfway mark for the AtoZ and still soldiering on!
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I've shared on my SM :)

  10. Hi Leanne - Thanks a lot :-) With many work-related and personal commitments every day it is tough churning out a post a day. Now, a few more days to go!

  11. Hi Pradeep a very interesting post and so true. What do you think of the notion of 'fake news' which seems to be highlighted over the last year? Thanks for sharing at #MLSTL and I enjoyed reading your thoughts.

  12. My father worked for a large newspaper in NYC (The NY Herald Tribune) so I have journalism in my blood. This is a great post and it's so important for us all to remember the importance of those who get the news to us. Thank you! Congrats on your progress with A to Z. We're close to the finish line!!

  13. P.S. Sharing on FB and Twitter for #MLSTL :)

  14. Hi Sue - 'Fake news' is just a modern term for rumours and gossips; unverified information. The only difference is in olden days, rumours spread only within a limited circle. Now it can spread worldwide.

    Hi MLQ - Nice to know that your father worked for a large newspaper. And thank you for those kind words about journalists. I shall catch up your posts soon. Thanks for dropping by and for the comments.