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What Makes a Story Newsworthy?

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A story is newsworthy when it is new, unusual, and has some significance for the people concerned. Even if the same event is happening in different places, it can have different news value. A coup d’etat in one country may have little news value while one in another may be the biggest story of the decade.

Factors that determine the strength of a story

The strength of a news story is often determined by several factors. These include time, relevance, and surprise. Journalists can manipulate these elements to make their story more newsworthy. This helps them focus their pitch and choose the strongest leads. To understand these factors, let’s examine some examples.

Relevance and comprehensibility are two of the most important criteria for news stories. In a study published in the Journal of Journalism, researchers used a variety of criteria to evaluate news items. They used a scale of one to five, with a low value meaning the story is not relevant to the audience. High scores mean that the news story is comprehensible and relevant.

Unusualness of an event

The term “unusual” may refer to a particular event, but in news, it can also refer to any event that is out of the ordinary. In defining what makes newsworthy, the term “unusualness” has many different definitions. It can refer to the date on which the event occurred, as well as its magnitude, relevance, and change.

Interest of nearness

When it comes to news, the interest of nearness is closely linked to the proximity of the story. This is because the audience is more likely to pay attention to stories that involve people who are similar to them. This is why stories about people in the United States tend to get more coverage than stories from the United Kingdom.

While proximity and eliteness are the strongest influencers of news quality, they do not explain the whole picture. Other factors such as personification and conflict may be more relevant, but their effects are relatively minor. Other factors that influence news quality include negativity, influence and relevance, and continuity. However, when it comes to television news, there was little evidence that the news outlet type matters.

Value of a story

A story’s news value is determined by its impact on the audience. A story that makes the audience feel something is more likely to be reported than one that occurs slowly over a long period of time. For instance, a story about a 72-car pile-up on a motorway is more newsworthy than one about a single passenger being killed in an accident.

The value of a story in news is also influenced by its proximity. A story that is close to the reader’s home base is considered newsworthy by a wider audience.

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