Chapter 5 News Selection
“The news is what we say it is.” – Agree or disagree? • News must be processed and distilled News judgment • [“Blind Men and the Elephant”] • Distinguish between stories that are serious and significant, essential, affect lives directly … from those that are nice to know buy have little impact …Stories that exist by themselves and stories that are “manufactured.” Examples? • News judgment is affected by our background. • Newsroom myopia … pack journalism … social isolation of news people.
Audience perspective • News is a combination of meeting audience “needs” and “wants.” What does this mean? Development of “infotainment.” Crime coverage • Television is driven by pictures … violent crime provides good video … white-collar crime is dull. • People are concerned about crime .. heavy coverage affects public perception of crime.
Hard news vs. soft news • Difference in hard news and soft news? Hard news is what people expect to see and hear … soft news is optional. Examples? Lead stories • What makes a story the lead story in a newscast? Affects or interests the most people in the audience. • Always put most current developments at the top of the story.
Line-up • Should you group stories from most important to least important, from the start to the end of the newscast? Need strong lead stories for the start of each segment. • Thematic blocking – similar stories grouped together. Examples? • End newscast or segments of newscast on a “positive” note … why?
Content of Newscasts Stories to avoid? Minor crimes, fender-benders, suicides, minor court decisions, small fires. Exceptions? Spot News (?) Event that breaks out without warning. “News doesn’t change, only the names” Use judgment. May be momentous, unusual in some way.