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

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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


Deciding what’s news

  • Timeliness


Deciding what’s news

  • Timeliness

  • Impact


Deciding what’s news

  • Timeliness

  • Impact

  • Singularity (uniqueness)


Deciding what’s news

  • Timeliness

  • Impact

  • Singularity (uniqueness)

  • Proximity


Deciding what’s news

  • Timeliness

  • Impact

  • Singularity (uniqueness)

  • Proximity

  • Prominence


Deciding what’s news

  • Timeliness

  • Impact

  • Singularity (uniqueness)

  • Proximity

  • Prominence

  • Conflict


Timeliness

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


Timeliness

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

  • Key on the latest development, not the original incident


Impact

  • Real, not theoretical


Impact

  • Real, not theoretical

  • “World could end tomorrow”


Impact

  • Real, not theoretical

  • “World could end tomorrow”

  • Death is the ultimate impact


Impact

  • Real, not theoretical

  • “World could end tomorrow”

  • Death is the ultimate impact

  • Numbers also matter (how many)


Singularity


Singularity

  • “Man bites dog”


Singularity

  • “Man bites dog”

  • Coincidence


Proximity

  • Local angle


Proximity

  • Local angle

  • How to define?


Proximity

  • Local angle

  • How to define?

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


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


Prominence


Prominence

  • Celebrity


Prominence

  • Celebrity

  • A famous person


Prominence

  • Celebrity

  • A famous person

  • This does NOT refer to groups


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


Conflict


Conflict

  • Ranges from policy disputes


Conflict

  • Ranges from policy disputes

  • To sports rivalries


Conflict

  • Ranges from policy disputes

  • To sports rivalries

  • To shooting wars


Always a balancing act


Always a balancing act

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


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 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 readers?


Who are our readers?

  • Local Oshkosh paper


Who are our readers?

  • Local Oshkosh paper

  • Traditional values


Who are our readers?

  • Local Oshkosh paper

  • Traditional values

  • Homogeneous


Who are our readers?

  • Local Oshkosh paper

  • Traditional values

  • Homogeneous

  • Sports/outdoors


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