Six Elements of Good News


News is the information about current events and happenings in a particular time and place that is published in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV. It can also be transmitted by the internet.

News reports can include a range of subjects, from the most serious and shocking to those which entertain and delight. News stories are usually based on fact but can contain opinions, which are normally presented as separate items. It is not the role of a journalist to attempt to change people’s beliefs, but to present facts objectively and fairly.

A good news story needs to have one of the following six elements:

Magnitude: Stories that are perceived as significant either in terms of numbers involved or in their potential impact. It is important for the reader to understand the impact of a story on their lives, so that they can make informed decisions.

Relativity: Stories that relate to subjects which are of interest or concern to a large number of people. For example, pesticides which destroy crops are of concern to all farmers; the death of a celebrity is of interest to many people.

Crime: Any type of crime may be newsworthy – but muggings, burglary, murder, corruption, fraud and other major crimes are generally more interesting than shoplifting or speeding offences. Money: It is often the size of a sum which makes it newsworthy, and how it is obtained or lost. Fortunes made and lost, salaries, bonuses, tax rebates, school fees, pensions, wages, the economy, prices of goods and services, inflation, compensation claims, economic crises and financial scandals all have a high news value.

Locality: Events that affect a large number of people in a given area are considered to have high news value, especially if the area is seen as having political, social or cultural significance. For example, the deaths of a large number of birds at a farm is newsworthy because it will concern many people living nearby.

Ideally, a news article should be written in the third person for clarity and objectivity. However, it is sometimes necessary to use a first name or initials for personal reasons. In this case, the full first name should be used and it is important to avoid any sudden changes in person. Similarly, in captions it is important to give the correct title of a person or event rather than simply their first initial. This ensures that readers do not get confused. It is also the practice to quote sources whenever possible. This enables readers to form their own opinion and compare it with yours. It is best to interview the source directly if possible. If this is not feasible, you should obtain quotes from secondary sources. It is important to note that when quoting, the writer should always disclose their status as a journalist. This demonstrates honesty and integrity, which are essential to the news business. This will encourage readers to trust the news media in the future.

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