Elements of news judgment
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Elements of news judgment. What editors take into account. What is news?. What is news?. Curtis D. MacDougall 1938 classic “Interpretative Reporting” “News is an account of an event which a newspaper prints in the belief that by so doing it will profit.”. Deciding what’s news.

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Elements of news judgment

Elements of news judgment

What editors take into account



What is news1
What is news?

  • Curtis D. MacDougall

  • 1938 classic “Interpretative Reporting”

  • “News is an account of an event which a newspaper prints in the belief that by so doing it will profit.”




Deciding what s news2
Deciding what’s news

  • Timeliness

  • Impact


Deciding what s news3
Deciding what’s news

  • Timeliness

  • Impact

  • Singularity (uniqueness)


Deciding what s news4
Deciding what’s news

  • Timeliness

  • Impact

  • Singularity (uniqueness)

  • Proximity


Deciding what s news5
Deciding what’s news

  • Timeliness

  • Impact

  • Singularity (uniqueness)

  • Proximity

  • Prominence


Deciding what s news6
Deciding what’s news

  • Timeliness

  • Impact

  • Singularity (uniqueness)

  • Proximity

  • Prominence

  • Conflict


Timeliness
Timeliness

  • Something that just happened is newsier than something that happened a while ago


Timeliness1
Timeliness

  • Something that just happened is newsier than something that happened a while ago

  • Key on the latest development, not the original incident


Impact
Impact

  • Real, not theoretical


Impact1
Impact

  • Real, not theoretical

  • “World could end tomorrow”


Impact2
Impact

  • Real, not theoretical

  • “World could end tomorrow”

  • Death is the ultimate impact


Impact3
Impact

  • Real, not theoretical

  • “World could end tomorrow”

  • Death is the ultimate impact

  • Numbers also matter (how many)



Singularity1
Singularity

  • “Man bites dog”


Singularity2
Singularity

  • “Man bites dog”

  • Coincidence


Proximity
Proximity

  • Local angle


Proximity1
Proximity

  • Local angle

  • How to define?


Proximity2
Proximity

  • Local angle

  • How to define?

  • In some cases, local local; in other cases the whole state, region or country


Proximity3
Proximity

  • Local angle

  • How to define?

  • In some cases, local local; in other cases the whole state, region or country

  • Just because something happened nearby doesn’t mean it’s newsworthy



Prominence1
Prominence

  • Celebrity


Prominence2
Prominence

  • Celebrity

  • A famous person


Prominence3
Prominence

  • Celebrity

  • A famous person

  • This does NOT refer to groups


Prominence4
Prominence

  • Celebrity

  • A famous person

  • This does NOT refer to groups

  • A story about a teacher is not necessarily newsworthy just because teachers occupy a prominent place in society



Conflict1
Conflict

  • Ranges from policy disputes


Conflict2
Conflict

  • Ranges from policy disputes

  • To sports rivalries


Conflict3
Conflict

  • Ranges from policy disputes

  • To sports rivalries

  • To shooting wars



Always a balancing act1
Always a balancing act

  • Stories that have more elements of news are likely to be stronger than those with fewer


Always a balancing act2
Always a balancing act

  • Stories that have more elements of news are likely to be stronger than those with fewer

  • But there are gradations within each category


Always a balancing act3
Always a balancing act

  • Stories that have more elements of news are likely to be stronger than those with fewer

  • But there are gradations within each category

  • Bigger & smaller celebrities; bigger & smaller impacts; bigger & smaller conflicts



Who are our readers1
Who are our readers?

  • Local Oshkosh paper


Who are our readers2
Who are our readers?

  • Local Oshkosh paper

  • Traditional values


Who are our readers3
Who are our readers?

  • Local Oshkosh paper

  • Traditional values

  • Homogeneous


Who are our readers4
Who are our readers?

  • Local Oshkosh paper

  • Traditional values

  • Homogeneous

  • Sports/outdoors


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