What is News? What makes it news? Presentation is adapted from http://pr-news.blogspot.com/2004_10_01_archive.html and JEA curriculum News is Interesting Informative New information Recent or current What interests the reader Important to the reader Factual and accurate Fair (both objective and balanced) Can something be informative but not important? Is this informative, important or both? Human interest story (personal story) Celebrity news Grammar Social textbook studies textbook The one big thing about News is that it is factual. News must be based on FACTS It must be ACCURATE It is NOT an opinion Fact vs Opinion Fact Something that can be proven, verified as true or false Example: The pizza was made with pepperoni and pineapple. The celebration was held in the Ballroom. Opinion Person point of view Open to interpretation Example: The pizza was good. The celebration was the largest one in town. Bias Allowing your personal opinion or preference for or against something Selectively revealing or holding back of information that is pertinent to the story Tips for accurate reporting and writing 1. Make sure you understand the event. 2. Make sure you double check the names of the people, their titles. You must spell proper nouns correctly. Look it up names of organizations or business to double check. Ask the person to spell their name and then have them check their name for correctness. Tips continued 3. Make sure dates are correct. Double check on a calendar if you are not sure. 4. Make sure you are recording the facts, not your opinion 5. Don’t write until you know what you want to say. 6. Show; don’t tell. Tips continued 7. Put good quotes and human interest high in the story. Verify each fact and quote. 8. Put relevant illustrations or anecdotes up high in the story. 9. Use concrete nouns and colorful action verbs. Tips continued 10. Avoid adjectival exuberance and resist propping up verbs with adverbs. 11. Avoid judgments and inferences. Let the facts talk. 12. Don’t raise questions you cannot answer in your copy. 13. Write simply, succinctly, honestly and quickly. Subjective vs Objective reporting Subjective: emphasis in on opinion, bias, personal attitudes Objective: based on fact, unbiased, not personal feelings or opinions, not a personal interpretation Editorializing When you use your own opinion in a story it is often referred to as editorializing. If you comment on how people felt, you are editorializing. “Everyone thought the movie was great”. This is editorializing because you can’t prove that the movie was great. Report the facts, not what you think or feel. Give your reader the facts and let them decide. Balance Cover all sides of an issue If you state an opinion, balance it with other opinions. Balance facts with other facts. Make sure to interview many people involved in the story so that you get a true balanced story Balance Sources: the person that provides you the information for your story Make sure you interview experts on the issue or story Make sure that the people you are talking to know the facts so that you get accurate information. Who is the expert on the event? The person who organized the event? A child attending the event? Objectivity and Accuracy Objectivity is being true without including an individual’s biases, feelings, interpretations, and imaginings Accuracy is reporting the factual, truthful information. What makes news news? Rule of 8 – what makes it news? Timeliness/immediacy Proximity How close to the reader is the story happening? Can they connect to it? Impact/Consequence What is happening now. How will the story impact your reader? If it doesn’t impact your reader, reevaluate your story. Conflict Is there conflict between people, or governments? Rule of 8 – what makes it news? Prominence/Celebrity Oddity / Rarity / Novelty Is the person in the story well known? This could be well known in the community, not just famous people. Is there something out of the ordinary about the story? Readers are often interested in the unusual. Things that happen less frequently are often considered more interesting. Human Interest / Emotion How does the story impact you emotionally? Does it make you laught? Cry? Get angry? Does it pull at your heart strings? Rule of 8 – what makes it news? Currency Sometimes a story becomes news just because a lot of people are talking about it. Is the story something that everyone seems to be talking about? For example: the birth of Prince George. News Value The value is determined when a story has one or more of the elements of news. The more elements of news that are present, the more the story is said to have value. Other considerations Audience Policy Who is the story for? What is policy of your paper on the type of stories that they will cover. Some publications have policies on what and how a story can be written. Competition Whatever other media your audience reads or watches. Other considerations Presentation How your story looks makes a difference. Take good photos, create interesting infographics, write an intriguing headline.