News Values was theme of this week's lecture and can be defined by a general definition:
The degree of prominence a media outlet gives to a story, and the attention that is paid by an audience'
News journalism has a broadly agreed set of values, often referred to as newsworthiness.
so, what are these values?
1. Impact or how the audience responds (gee whiz!)
2. Audience Identification or the areas of culture involved in the news
3. Pragmatics or the ethics, facticity, practice, everyday and current affairs
4. Source Influence or journalists going against public relations (e.g spinning the truth at clients expense)
News values vary across different news services and between different countries and culture but, the two main news values, especially in Australia are: IF IT BLEEDS IT LEADS and IF IT'S LOCAL IT LEADS.
focusing now on the concept of newsworthiness, a general definition provided by Harold Evans who was the editor of The Sunday Times from 1967-1981 states:
A sense of news values is the first quality of
editors – they are the human sieves of the torrent of news, even more important
even than an ability to write or a command of language
Stemming from this initial set of building blocks for newsworthiness came other alternatives from many different journalists. Galtung & Ruge set of characteristics included: (in order) Negativity, closeness to home, recency, currency, continuity, uniqueness, simplicity, personality, expectedness, elite nations or people, exclusivity and size.
Several theories also were develop from their set of values. The additivity hypothesis suggests that the more factors that are in the story, the higher the probability that it becomes news and the exclusion theory which states that if the story contains none of very few it will not make news
Another set of values much later on in 2002 were developed by Judy McGregor, hers in order were: visualness, conflict, emotion and celebrification of the journalist
Finally, one last example of another set of values put together by this course's lecturer Dr. Bruce Redman in 2011 include: New news values, terrorism, GFC, health/fitness and environment.
Newsworthiness faces three tensions between journalism and its ideals and commercialisation of the social life, public relations and journalism's reality. As a result, we can see lazy, incompetent journalism emerge along with public relation influence, hyper-commercialisation and a rapid news cycle which is untrustworthy and irresponsible.