You might have asked yourself “What makes news, news? How does one determine if something is newsworthy?” Today, we answer your questions. There are several elements of news that an event or topic needs to comply with to be considered newsworthy. A good news article will have more than one of these elements.
- Proximity – A news event that happens close to people will have more impact. If it is happening in a far-off country or even another state, it might not interest them.
- Prominence – If the place, person, or event is well-known, the story will be seen as more newsworthy than if people do not know them or it. Unknown or unfamiliar news does not spark interest as much as the president or a movie star, for example.
Timeliness – News happens fast and continuously. News that is current and fresh interests people more than the things that happened yesterday or last week.
Oddity – People are strange and therefore news that are strange get attention. If the story is about something weird, odd, or bizarre, people will be interested.
Consequence – If a news story is impacting or may impact its readers, it is a strong story. The presidential elections in Iran may seem like something you don’t really care about until you find out that a new president may influence the oil prices and the agreements with the US.
Conflict – Arguments, conflicts, fights, and any debates will always draw attention. It is human nature to want to take sides and see who wins.
Human interest – These stories tug at the heart strings. Pictures and stories that cause an emotional reaction are called human interest.
You also have the elements of the scandal, extremes (biggest, longest, largest of something), and impact. Most news stories will have one or more of these elements. That is what makes them newsworthy and gets them published.