The Value of News

News Values pic

In this day and age, we have become more reliant on technology than ever before. Everything we do requires some sort of technological device, in fact I’m writing this to you all now on my laptop (duh). We use computers, mobiles, TVs etc to get all of our daily information and news. With the amount of access we have to news stories, who should we trust and who really counts?

When it comes down to who writes the news, the majority of writers are white middled aged men who tend to work in official bodies such as a big world news agency (Reuters, AP), or one of the big PR or corporate communications companies (Khorana 2014).

When it comes to writing news stories, most journalists seem to constantly use the same foundation for their stories. Some of the different ways to capture the audience and prove importance include:

  • Effective imagery

Using strong pictures instantly captures the attention of the audience. Examples that may catch a readers eye are celebrities, 9/11 or the Boxing Day Tsunami.

  • The effect of cultural proximity

If a journalist discusses a topic relating to for example, a water shortage in Alabama, this would have very little affect on people who live in Sydney therefore skipping past or not listening to the story. But, if there was a news story that was culturally similar to ours, we would take more interest in it for example a story about Will and Kate.

  • Rarity

When a rare story comes up it will usually make the front page. The fact that the story is so rare is what makes people interested in it e.g. 9/11. The more rare it is, the more people will want to find out the truth.

(Khorana 2014)

The framing of a news story is also plays an important factor. It depends whose point of view the story is from, the selection of material to be viewed in the piece and the validity of sources. For example, the age old debate of models being too skinny. Usually this point of view is from the onlookers who don’t understand fashion. They have lots of discriminative things to say. Rarely to they point out that the majority of the girls are naturally thin or rarely hear anything from the models perspective. They may only choose to use photos and footage of the one-off extremely skinny girl and totally ignore the rest who look perfectly fine and healthy. A lot of the time the people that are interviewed to validate these fashion stories are psychiatrists who obviously are going to have a bias opinion on the negatives of anorexia and body image towards other impressionable girls, and they rarely have a designer or model talking.

The people who contribute to news stories and those who write them play a massive role in the overall value of the news.

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