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News Basics

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Title: News Basics


1
News Basics
WHAT is news? Activity Take notes over
everything in yellow including the inverted
pyramid. Print your work and bring it to class.
2
What is news?
News is difficult to define because it has many
variables
3
  • News must be factual, yet not all facts are news.

4
  • News may be opinion, especially that of a
    prominent person or an authority on a particular
    subject.

5
  • News is primarily about people, what they say and
    do.

6
  • News is not necessarily a report of a recent
    event, as stated in most dictionaries.

7
  • What is news for one school or community may not
    be news for another.

8
  • What is news today may not be news tomorrow.

9
  • What is news for one person may not be news for
    another person.

10
  • Two factors necessary to news, interest and
    importance, are not always synonymous.

11
Hard News and Soft News
Journalists today often refer to hard news and
soft news.
12
  • Hard news
  • is important to large numbers of people

13
  • is timely
  • usually about events in government, politics,
    foreign affairs, education, labor, religion,
    courts, etc.

14
  • Soft news
  • usually less important because it entertains,
    although it may also inform

15
  • often less timely than hard news
  • includes human interest and feature stories which
    may relate to hard news

16
  • appeals more to emotions than to the intellect or
    the desire to be informed

17
Hard news, despite its importance, usually
attracts fewer readers because it may not be as
interesting as soft news or may be more difficult
to understand.
18
Readers may not understand its significance.
Reporters must be careful to include information
to help the reader understand what the story
means.
19
Many stories are a combination of hard and soft
news, and may present some of the information in
sidebars and infographics.
20
  • Three factors
  • Facts
  • Interest
  • Readers
  • are essential to news.

21
The following triangle shows the idea that the
basis of all news is FACT. The job of the
reporter is to make facts interesting to a
particular group of readers.
22
Interest
Readers
Fact
23
  • News must be factual.
  • News is based on actual occurrences, situations,
    thoughts and ideas.
  • Yet not all facts are news.

24
  • News must be interesting.
  • But not all facts are interesting.
  • Different facts will be interesting to different
    readers.

25
News has qualities that distinguish it from
nearly all other forms of writing.
26
I. It must be accurate.
27
Factual accuracy
  • Every statement
  • every name
  • every date
  • every age
  • every address
  • every quote

28
Accuracy of General Impression
The general impression--the way the details are
put together and what type of emphasis is put on
the details--should be accurate. Reporters should
not distort the importance of a fact by giving it
too much attention.
29
  • Accuracy is difficult to achieve because
  • there are so many facts that go into a story

30
  • reporters must work fast to meet deadlines
  • many people are involved in producing the
    finished story the reporter, copy reader,
    editors, typists, etc.

31
Reporters must work hard to achieve
accuracy. They must check, double-check and
re-check every fact.
32
  • Reporters must question their sources carefully.
  • Informants sometimes misinform, although rarely
    on purpose.

33
  • School reporters sometimes dont ask the right
    questions to get the information they need for a
    story.
  • Reporters should talk out stories with
    assignment editors to make sure they understand
    questions that need to be asked.

34
II. It is balanced.
35
Balance in a news story is a matter of emphasis
and completeness. Reporters must give each fact
its proper emphasis, putting it into its proper
relationship to every other fact and establishing
its relative importance to the main idea or focus
of the story.
36
News is considered balanced and complete when all
significant details are included and have proper
relationship to each other. The purpose of
balance is to give the reader a fair
understanding of the event, not a detailed
account of every fact.
37
III. It is objective.
38
  • News is a factual report, not a report of how the
    reporter thought something should have been.

39
  • A reporter must report news as impartially and
    honestly as possible.

40
  • Objectivity is difficult to achieve because a
    reporters own opinions and feelings can easily
    interfere with factual presentation in stories.

41
IV. It is concise and clear.
42
Hard news stories almost always follow the
inverted pyramid and are written concisely and
clearly so that the meaning is clear to an
average reader.
43
Inverted Pyramid
Most important facts
Next most important
Next most important
Next
44
V. It is recent.
45
Timeliness is of major importance in this era of
fast communication. Other factors being equal, a
news editor will choose one story over another
because of its timeliness.
46
News elements help to make facts interesting to
people.
47
  • Immediacy or timeliness
  • Most essential element of news

48
  • Reporters emphasize most recent or newest angle
    of story.

49
  • Proximity
  • Readers are more interested in an event
    geographically near them than in one far removed

50
Reporters emphasize the local angle whenever
possible
51
  • Consequence
  • A story that affects every reader will have more
    consequence than one that affects only a few.

52
Reporters emphasize the angle of the story that
will impact most readers
53
  • Prominence
  • Names make news. Include as many as possible.

54
The more prominent a particular name, place,
event or situation, the more interest the story
will have.
55
  • Drama
  • adds color and vitality to a story.

56
  • The more dramatic a story, the more appealing it
    is to the readers.

57
Mystery, suspense, comedy, the unusual, the
bizarre are chief elements of drama.
58
  • Oddity/ Unusualness
  • The greater the degree of unusualness in a story,
    the greater its news value.

59
Firsts, lasts, and onlys have been staples
of newspapers since the 19th century.
60
  • Conflict
  • appears frequently in news stories.

61
  • Inherent in sports stories, war news, crime news,
    violence, domestic disputes, government bodies.

62
  • Conflict
  • can be physical or mental. (Ideas can be in
    conflict).

63
  • Can involve man vs. man, man vs. nature, man vs.
    animal or animal vs. animal.

64
  • Sex
  • news element present in stories of romance,
    marriage, divorce and other relationships.

65
The treatment of sex varies widely from
publication to publication.
66
  • Emotions, instincts
  • Readers enjoy stories that appeal to their
    emotions.

67
Generally the most widely read stories in the
newspaper, and most widely discussed of those
heard on radio or television.
68
  • Stories about the home-less, babies needing
    trans-plants, a 4-year-old girl abandoned in
    freezing wea-ther who must have her legs
    amputated, baby girls rescued from wells,
    some-one winning the lottery

69
  • Progress
  • Involves any significant change for the
    betterment of mankind.

70
  • May refer to achievement in the laboratory,
    industrial plant, legislative body, etc.

71
May refer to success in treating AIDS patients,
etc.
72
  • Impact
  • How will a particular event affect the readers?

73
  • Similar to consequence, but stronger, more
    personal

74
A number of factors modify the importance of news
elements in actual practice.
75
  • The policy of a news publication may increase or
    decrease the importance of a story.

76
  • The class of readers may determine what is news
    for a publi-cation.

77
  • The amount of space available may determine if a
    particular story is told briefly or in detail.

78
Timing may alter the value of a news story. All
news is in competition with the news available at
the moment.
79
  • Previous publication may change a storys value.

80
  • Censorship, particularly in war time or times of
    national crisis, may change news value, sometimes
    keeping stories from being published for long
    periods of time.
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