Recommended article: What is News by FairTest

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What is News?

From Fair Test, Picture by Biblicall.

Experts agree that defining news can be a difficult task. Most journalists agree that the following eight elements make up what is considered “news.”

  • Immediacy:
    Reporting something that has just happened or is about to happen. Time is a strong ingredient, “today, yesterday, early this morning, tomorrow.” The newness of the occurrence makes up “immediacy” in the news.
  • Proximity:
    Facts and occurrences that are important to you personally; inflation, the Iran situation particularly if one of the hostages is someone you know or a family member of a close friend, the closing of a fire station close to your home. Such a closure is less important when it occurs across town. The question most asked by journalists is: “If this happened outside my immediate area, my city, my state, would I be interested in reading about it?” Keeping this question in mind is particularly important to the organizational PR person. You must “take off the I love this organization hat” and examine your story to see if indeed it would interest other readers.
  • Prominence:
    Prominence as a news element is well-known to most of us. The public figure, holders of public office, people of renown or those who stimulate our curiosity, people in positions of influence all enjoy news prominence. For your visitor or speaker to qualify for news prominence, he or she must be well enough known to command the attention of readers either by reputation or by the nature of the topic to be discussed.
  • Oddity:
    Oddity is often news. The bizarre, the unusual, the unexpected often make news. Generally those people who perform striking feats in emergency situations are news, such as a woman lifting an automobile off her child, traveling around the world in a sailboat, unusual recycling methods, use of materials in a different way. In journalism, oddity is defined as the “man bites dog” formula. Consider the reported rabbit attack on President Carter. That certainly made the “news.”
  • Conflict:
    Conflict is one element most observed in todays with the clash of ideologies making headlines worldwide. Although most businesses and organizations shy away from the reporting of conflict, it is understandable that this element is firmly based in the news formula.
  • Suspense:
    Suspense creates and expands news appeal. The outcome of the Iranian hostages is suspenseful news. For the most part, organizations would rarely experience this type of circumstance. It is helpful to remember that news suspense is not the same as mystery suspense. However, mystery suspense in news does occur when a crime has been committed and the search is on for a suspect.
  • Emotions
    Emotions are a news element commonly called “human interest” stories that stir our recognition of the basic needs both psychological and physical. Stories that prompt the reader toward sympathy, anger or other emotions in all their variety are commonly handled in feature-type stories. Organizations should be alert to the possibilities of “human interest” stories.
  • Consequence
    The last element of news, consequence, is more difficult to explain, but generally for a story to have consequence it must be important to a great number of readers. It must have some impact for the reader. Such news will affect him or her in some personal way…the safety of the city’s drinking water. The dumping of toxic wastes into the Snake River Aquifer is being examined from the standpoint of consequence now and in the future. Thus it becomes an important news story.
From this discussion of news story elements, it becomes clear that you should have these guidelines in mind when you’re deciding if your message is news or an announcement; whether it’s a feature or an item of limited public interest. From this you decide which format to use for distributing the information and the medium that is most likely to use your information.

For the comments:

1. The most important parts of the news?
2. Is this article a good one?
3. Can we add something more?

4 Comments

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  1. BUNTHA

    Dear Mr. or Mrs professor.

    I am Buntha Ros, this is my comments:

    1. The most important parts of the news?
    Answer: The most important parts of the news is tittle and headline of the article.
    we have to give good tittle and good interesting headline to the readers to make them attractive in the article. and the news we dont think about what we like, we think about what the readers like. And the news must be clear and real happen in any time.

    2.Is this article good?
    2. yes of course.
    3.Yes we can add some thing more and the idea we add is related with the article and the idea does not make the readers confuse or wonders
    about, and the idea can also give education to the readers.

    Note: If we add any idea into the article we criticize or blame some one without real news or real time of the news.

  2. toth

    Hi i am kimsean
    This my answer
    10/09/2007

    First the title of the news.

    1 Pakistan deports ex-PM on return
    2 Mexico truck blast ‘kills dozens’
    3 Congress to hear Iraq report
    4 Key Iraq pair to brief Congress

    5Full 5 day forecast for London, United Kingdom

    Monday 20 °C Tuesday 20 °C

    ( It all in http://www.everyday.com.kh/english.asp)
    Many more in (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070910/ap_on_go_co/us_iraq ) you can listen and read.

    Second news about Sport.
    1 football

    Virtual replay

    See Michael Owen’s goal for England against Israel at Wembley

    Improve your passing with Rachel Yankey Calling all females Find your local club as the World Cup gets ready for kick-off Running and dribbling drills with Reading

    England talk up World Cup chances

    England head into their first Women’s World Cup finals in 12 years facing a tough task but with confidence riding high.

    Third the Cambodia news

    1 Military police deputy killed in Cambodia
    2 Spread of dengue fever down by 60 to 70 pct in Cambodia

  3. toth

    Homework

    Now your favorite part: the Homework.

    Well, we are going to work with news, titles, subtitles and heads. You have access to the forum and you can create your own articles. If you see right up in the forum Home Page, you will see the word “Nueva entrada”. That is the link to create your own articles.

    1. Please create a collection of news titles from the medias. Only titles from any newspaper you can find. Do a collection of titles as you can… many as you can.
    2. Create a second article doing a news about sport (Title and Head)
    3. Create a third article about Cambodian news.

  4. Albeiro Rodas

    Hello guys, I see your homeworks. It seems you have worked it out. I would prefer if you create your own information. I need your own reports on actuality in Cambodia, it would be useful.

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