News Basics

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Information about News Basics

Published on June 3, 2008

Author: diansmit


Slide 1: News Basics WHAT is news? Dianne Smith, CJE Alief Hastings HS Houston, TX Slide 2: What is news? News is difficult to define because it has many variables Slide 3: News must be factual, yet not all facts are news. Slide 4: News may be opinion, especially that of a prominent person or an authority on a particular subject. Slide 5: News is primarily about people, what they say and do. Slide 6: News is not necessarily a report of a recent event, as stated in most dictionaries. Slide 7: What is news for one school or community may not be news for another. Slide 8: What is news today may not be news tomorrow. Slide 9: What is news for one person may not be news for another person. Slide 10: Two factors necessary to news, interest and importance, are not always synonymous. Slide 11: Hard News and Soft News Journalists today often refer to “hard” news and “soft” news. Slide 12: Hard news: is important to large numbers of people Slide 13: is timely usually about events in government, politics, foreign affairs, education, labor, religion, courts, etc. Slide 14: Soft news: usually less important because it entertains, although it may also inform Slide 15: often less timely than hard news includes human interest and feature stories which may relate to hard news Slide 16: appeals more to emotions than to the intellect or the desire to be informed Slide 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. Slide 18: Readers may not understand its significance. Reporters must be careful to include information to help the reader understand what the story means. Slide 19: Many stories are a combination of hard and soft news, and may present some of the information in sidebars and infographics. Slide 20: Three factors: Facts Interest Readers are essential to news. Slide 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. Slide 22: Interest Fact Readers Slide 23: News must be factual. News is based on actual occurrences, situations, thoughts and ideas. Yet not all facts are news. Slide 24: News must be interesting. But not all facts are interesting. Different facts will be interesting to different readers. Slide 25: News has qualities that distinguish it from nearly all other forms of writing. Slide 26: I. It must be accurate. Slide 27: Factual accuracy Every statement every name every date every age every address every quote Slide 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. Slide 29: Accuracy is difficult to achieve because there are so many facts that go into a story Slide 30: reporters must work fast to meet deadlines many people are involved in producing the finished story: the reporter, copy reader, editors, typists, etc. Slide 31: Reporters must work hard to achieve accuracy. They must check, double-check and re-check every fact. Slide 32: Reporters must question their sources carefully. Informants sometimes misinform, although rarely on purpose. Slide 33: School reporters sometimes don’t 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. Slide 34: II. It is balanced. Slide 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. Slide 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. Slide 37: III. It is objective. Slide 38: News is a factual report, not a report of how the reporter thought something should have been. Slide 39: A reporter must report news as impartially and honestly as possible. Slide 40: Objectivity is difficult to achieve because a reporter’s own opinions and feelings can easily interfere with factual presentation in stories. Slide 41: IV. It is concise and clear. Slide 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. Slide 43: Inverted Pyramid Most important facts Next most important Next most important Next Slide 44: V. It is recent. Slide 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. Slide 46: News elements help to make facts interesting to people. Slide 47: Immediacy or timeliness Most essential element of news Slide 48: Reporters emphasize most recent or newest angle of story. Slide 49: Proximity Readers are more interested in an event geographically near them than in one far removed Slide 50: Reporters emphasize the local angle whenever possible Slide 51: Consequence A story that affects every reader will have more consequence than one that affects only a few. Slide 52: Reporters emphasize the angle of the story that will impact most readers Slide 53: Prominence Names make news. Include as many as possible. Slide 54: The more prominent a particular name, place, event or situation, the more interest the story will have. Slide 55: Drama adds color and vitality to a story. Slide 56: The more dramatic a story, the more appealing it is to the readers. Slide 57: Mystery, suspense, comedy, the unusual, the bizarre are chief elements of drama. Slide 58: Oddity/ Unusualness The greater the degree of unusualness in a story, the greater its news value. Slide 59: “Firsts”, “lasts”, and “onlys” have been staples of newspapers since the 19th century. Slide 60: Conflict appears frequently in news stories. Slide 61: Inherent in sports stories, war news, crime news, violence, domestic disputes, government bodies. Slide 62: Conflict can be physical or mental. (Ideas can be in conflict). Slide 63: Can involve man vs. man, man vs. nature, man vs. animal or animal vs. animal. Slide 64: Sex news element present in stories of romance, marriage, divorce and other relationships. Slide 65: The treatment of sex varies widely from publication to publication. Slide 66: Emotions, instincts Readers enjoy stories that appeal to their emotions. Slide 67: Generally the most widely read stories in the newspaper, and most widely discussed of those heard on radio or television. Slide 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 Slide 69: Progress Involves any significant change for the betterment of mankind. Slide 70: May refer to achievement in the laboratory, industrial plant, legislative body, etc. Slide 71: May refer to success in treating AIDS patients, etc. Slide 72: Impact How will a particular event affect the readers? Slide 73: Similar to consequence, but stronger, more personal Slide 74: A number of factors modify the importance of news elements in actual practice. Slide 75: The policy of a news publication may increase or decrease the importance of a story. Slide 76: The class of readers may determine what is news for a publi-cation. Slide 77: The amount of space available may determine if a particular story is told briefly or in detail. Slide 78: Timing may alter the value of a news story. All news is in competition with the news available at the moment. Slide 79: Previous publication may change a story’s value. Slide 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. Slide 81: The End This presentation will repeat in 10 seconds.

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