What Is Newsworthy?


News is information about current events that are of importance to a specific readership. News is usually written in an objective and factual manner with a view to educate, inform and entertain. News articles can be found in a wide range of media outlets from newspapers to online news websites. Most local newspapers will focus on news that effect the majority of the population whereas national publications tend to report on international and noteworthy events.

What is considered newsworthy will vary from society to society but broadly speaking an event must be new, unusual, interesting and significant. The classic ‘dog bites man’ is newsworthy but a man waking up, eating breakfast and going to work on the bus does not; it is ordinary, everyday and not particularly newsworthy.

The way an event is reported also makes a difference; it must be a ‘good story’ in the journalistic sense of the word. Generally, a story will have a strong inverted pyramid structure with key facts outlined at the beginning and more detail added as the article progresses. This is because readers are likely to be influenced by the first information they come across when making decisions about whether or not an event is worthy of attention.

When reporting on a newsworthy event it is often appropriate to include the opinion of an expert in that area; however, it is important to avoid over-emphasising this opinion or’sensationalising’ the story. It is also important to use the full name of a person on their first reference; initials are not usually used in news writing.

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