Read through your essay feedback
Circle 2-3 targets on the front of your feedback
sheet
• Write in your grade
• Write in your student comment and 2 new targets
 REMEMBER TO FOCUS ON THESE IN YOUR NEXT
ESSAY
•
•
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

Read through the example essay
Highlight the key concepts, sociological
terms and named sociologists in yellow
Highlight the links back to the question in
orange

I will be away in Pendarren and Joanne is not
in college next Thursday
 Complete the whole SCLY3 Media Paper under
timed conditions
 Complete the background reading pack I have
copied for you
Which of the following sources
of news would you most and
least trust and why?
 How is the content of the news
selected?
 Who decides which of these events or
interests are worthy of media
coverage?
 Is the news balanced and truthful or
biased?

Explain how what counts as ‘news’ is socially
constructed

Describe the ways in which organisational
and bureaucratic routines leads to biased
news

Understand how ‘news values’ influence the
content of the news
There are an infinite number of events
taking place each day.
Those controlling the content of the
media must be selective in what they
present.
This means that news is not an objective
account of what is happening in the
world but a partial picture of events
defined as news.
News is manufactured - it is socially
constructed.
News is not something that happens – plenty of
things happen in the world without ever being
classified as news - the news values of a media
organisation are clearly important in terms of
the initial selection of events
The Construction of Reality in the News
McQuail (1992) argues that news is socially
manufactured, because ‘gatekeepers’ such
as editors and journalists make choices and
judgements about how much coverage they
will give to certain events.
Critics argue that the process of news
selection is biased because it is dependent on
3 main influences:
1. Organisational or bureaucratic constraints
2. The News Values held by media organisations
3. Ownership, Ideology and Bias
The processes in which news is collected may
eventually lead to biases in what is being
presented and reported. This can be
illustrated in a number of ways:
Read through the explanations of the
ways in which this is illustrated and
give each a title, no more than 3 words
Many newspapers and TV news
producers gather their stories from
agencies who sell news items, such as
the Press Association (PA)
They may also receive press releases
from pressure groups or government
agencies who wish to publicise their
activities.
It is clearly very costly to keep sending
news reporters over to foreign countries
to collect news reports as often there is
very little activity.
This has lead to superficial treatment of
events in developing countries,
especially Asia and Africa.
News reporting is restricted by TIME and
SPACE available.
For example a news bulletin may only
last 15 minutes, therefore certain events
or items may have to be excluded, the
same goes for space allocated in
newspapers.
TV news has an advantage over
newspapers, as it doesn’t really get
affected by deadlines. TV News can
transmit news live and as it happens e.g.
The world Trade Centre attacks.
However Newspapers must stick to
deadlines- i.e. news that is to be shown in
the newspapers the following morning
must be gathered b about 10pm.
Events are more likely to be shown on TV
news if they can be presented with a
speech, or a film clip, footage etc- this
adds an element of drama to the
event.
Second
factor
that
influences
how the
news is
selected
Spencer-Thomas (2008) notes that
news values are general guidelines or
criteria that determine the worth of a
specific story.
I.e. Is the story interesting enough to
attract significant readership or
audience?
What Factors
increase
‘NewsWorthiness’?

Match the titles around the room to the 6
descriptions on your worksheet – write it
onto your worksheet

Think of a contemporary example for each
news value – write that next to the
description

Unexpected or rare events have more
newsworthiness than routine events
because they are out of the
ordinary….

The bigger
the event the
more likely it
will be
nationally
reported. E.g.
World wars or
natural
disasters.

Events which are easy to
grasp/understand are more likely to
be reported than those which are
open to interpretation.

Those stories which
show coverage of
the famous and the
powerful are often
seen as more
newsworthy than
those which feature
the general public.

Events may be personalised
by association with a
particular celebrity or leader
with the specific event.

For example, the war on Iraq
in 2003 was often presented
as Bush and Blair Vs Saddam
Hussein.

Bad news seems to be more exciting
to journalists than good news.

News such as ‘There were no murders
today’ is less interesting than ‘ Three
people were shot today’
Go through the first 3 pages
of the newspaper,
tally up how many good stories
there were in comparison to the ‘bad’ stories
Which
news
values do
you think
this article
has
achieved?

I will be away in Pendarren and Joanne is not
in college next Thursday
 Complete the whole SCLY3 Media Paper under
timed conditions
 Complete the background reading pack I have
copied for you
Explain how what counts as ‘news’ is socially constructed
•Describe the ways in which organisational and bureaucratic routines leads to biased news
Understand how ‘news values’ influence the content of the news.
Media – SCLY 3 –
th
15
June PM
th
Crime - SCLY 4 – 20
June AM
www.h6a2sociology.wordpress.com
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The Social Construction of the news - h6a2sociology