CHAPTER 5 - Chapter 5 News What is News How do papers...

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Chapter 5: News
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What is News? How do papers & broadcast networks decide what’s printed or broadcast? How does information make it to your favorite website? News judgment takes years to define & refine. “Newsworthiness” is based on a set of characteristics.
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Characteristics of News Timeliness Proximity Human Interest Consequence Disaster Prominence Novelty Conflict
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Timeliness News once came by ship and pony express (from Missouri to California, lasted fewer than 2 years) Immediacy was not an issue. Technology now makes news Past the 1 st day, needs a new angle
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Proximity News that happens nearby is of most interest. Even within a community, some stories are judged of no interest. News is becoming more and more local; hyperlocal in the future.
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Human Interest Stories that pull at the heart strings Proximity of little importance Some holidays produce more human interest stories. Such stories make the audience mourn, cry, celebrate, cheer, etc. with individuals.
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Consequence News stories that affect the audience Even injury, violence and death may mean little if audience is not affected. Iraq of consequence because of the length of the war, cost, etc.; audience not naturally concerned.
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Disaster Similar to consequence, but more dire Total calamity is of interest to large audiences. Oklahoma City & 9/11 are the exceptions to other characteristics. Sidebars , secondary articles, will be side by side with such stories.
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Prominence Stories involving people well known (celebrities, politicians, etc.) Edward R. Murrow warned media about the fascination with celebrity. News once had little coverage of celebrities, but now a mainstay.
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Novelty “When a dog bites a man, that is not news because it happens so often. But if a man bites a dog, that is news.” (John Bogart, New York Sun editor) Events that are extremely different from the ordinary are deemed newsworthy Many times show up as human interest stories.
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Unfortunately, large number of stories based on conflict. Results from our inability to get along with
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This note was uploaded on 02/23/2011 for the course MASS COMMU 1301 taught by Professor Fluker during the Spring '11 term at Texas State.

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CHAPTER 5 - Chapter 5 News What is News How do papers...

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