News criteria dictate what we hear about in the news

Newsworthiness relates to different factors that influence whether a topic makes it to the news or not. Space in a print paper is limited in a concrete sense, but writing online news also uses up the working hours of reporters.

Factors that influence newsworthiness are the general news situation, media publicity, the varying needs of different media, target group thinking and follow-ups on a topic. In simple terms, the more dramatic an impact it will have on the lives of a group of people, the more important a piece of news it is. Additionally, newsworthiness is always linked to a certain time and place. For example, the private lives of public figures are often only newsworthy when they are in contradiction to the public image created by those public figures, or to the values that they promote.

News criteria refer to the principles through which the newsworthiness of phenomena is assessed in editorial offices. News criteria include significance, expected level of interest, surprise factor, timeliness, geographical proximity, negativity and famous or influential persons.

In addition, in some cases, a certain news topic can become newsworthy just because it has been discussed in other media or it is trending in social media channels. When a piece of news has become a heated topic of discussion, other media want their share of the readers’ expressed interest, and they start to echo and multiply the same news item.

News values: A summary

  • significance
  • expected level of interest
  • surprise factor
  • forcefulness
  • timeliness
  • geographical proximity
  • negativity
  • famous or influential person
  • potential for personification
  • unambiguity, ease of definition

Keep Reading:

Tips for a Journalist Working on the Field; How do the news media make money? Graphic design & Illustration
Or go back to the beginning of this section: Journalism; Videography

This article was updated on January 9th 2020