News Elements WHAT is news? Dianne Smith, CJE Alief Hastings HS Houston, TX Modified by E.Vanek 09
A Note from Mrs. Vanek: Hi everyone! The information from this presentation will be used in a discussion in the following class period. You will also use them to answer questions (daily grade) and a test (test grade). There will also be a project in which you and your partner will create a poster. So make sure you… TAKE GOOD NOTES!
What is news? News is difficult to define because it has many variables
News may be opinion, especially that of a prominent person or an authority on a particular subject.
News is not necessarily a report of a recent event, as stated in most dictionaries.
Hard News and Soft News Journalists today often refer to “hard” news and “soft” news.
Hard news: • is important to large numbers of people
is timely • usually about events in government, politics, foreign affairs, education, labor, religion, courts, etc.
Soft news: • usually less important because it entertains, although it may also inform
often less timely than hard news • includes human interest and feature stories which may relate to hard news
appeals more to emotions than to the intellect or the desire to be informed
Hard news, despite its importance, usually attracts fewer readers because it may not be as interesting as soft news or may be more difficult to understand.
Readers may not understand the significance of some hard news stories. Reporters must be careful to include information to help the reader understand what the story means and how the story relates (or is important) to the reader.
Many stories are a combination of hard and soft news, and may present some of the information in sidebars and infographics. A sidebar is a small story that appears next to or near a larger story on the page. An infographic is just what it sounds like: a graphic that conveys information in a reader-friendly way (like a chart that is very easy to read and is pleasing to look at). We see a lot of infographics during election years.)
Three factors: • Facts • Interest • Readers • are essential to news.
The job of the reporter is to make factsinteresting to a particular group of readers.
News must be factual. • News is based on actual occurrences, situations, thoughts and ideas. • Yet not all facts are news.
News must be interesting. • But not all facts are interesting. Sometimes they are WAY boring. • Different facts will be interesting to different readers.
News elementshelp to make facts interesting to people. You will learn EIGHT different news elements.
1.Timeliness • (sometimes referred to as immediacy) • Most essential element of news
2.Proximity • Readers are more interested in an event geographically near them than in one far removed
3.Consequence • A story that affects every reader will have more consequence than one that affects only a few.
4.Prominence • Names make news. Include as many as possible.
The more prominent a particular name, place, event or situation, the more interest the story will have.
5.Oddity/ Unusualness • The greater the degree of unusualness in a story, the greater its news value.
“Firsts”, “lasts”, and “onlys” have been staples of newspapers since the 19th century.
6.Conflict • appears frequently in news stories.
Inherent in sports stories, war news, crime news, violence, domestic disputes, government bodies.
Can involve man vs. man, man vs. nature, man vs. animal or animal vs. animal.
7.Emotion/Human Interest • Readers enjoy stories that appeal to their emotions. • These are human interest stories
Generally the most widely read stories in the newspaper, and most widely discussed of those heard on radio or television.
Stories about the home-less, babies needing trans-plants, a 4-year-old girl abandoned in freezing wea-ther who must have her legs amputated, baby girls rescued from wells, some-one winning the lottery
8.Progress • Involves any significant change for the betterment of humankind.
May refer to achievement in the laboratory, industrial plant, legislative body, environment, etc.
How do News Editors decide which stories make the front page or get placed at the top of a newscast? They use their knowledge of News Elements. This is called News Judgement. A number of factors modify the importance of news elements (and thus, the news story) in actual practice. This refers to the story’s news value.
The policy of a news publication may increase or decrease the importance/value of a story.
The class of readers may determine what is news for a publi-cation.
The amount of space available may determine if a particular story is told briefly or in detail.
Timing may alter the value of a news story. All news is in competition with the news available at the moment.