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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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