Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What Makes a Story Newsworthy?

Not every story is news. There are several factors that deciphers whether a story is newsworthy. Our very own Towson professor, Thom Lieb explains in his text All the News that audience, medium, competition and editoral judgements which consist of impact, prominence, unusualness, currency,conflict, timeliness, proximity, affinity and human interest determine what stories are newsworthy.

The Baltimore Sun follows these guidelines when searching, uncovering, and reporting a story. One feature article on the website titled, Fire destroys city playground informs readers of a fire at a local playground.

It discuss fire fighters battle with the blaze and explains that the cause of the fire is unknown. It further explains the creation of the playground, the devastation of the incident, and the plan to rebuild which is confirmed by the mayor's spokesman.

The article is newsworthy because it is geared to the local audience. The playground fire concerns local residence and the children who play there. It displays impact because the children no longer have a place to play. In addition, the fire could have spread and cause harm to others.

The story includes proximity considering that it occurred in Baltimore. In addition, the story contains conflict because the police officers do not know the specific cause of the fire and they do not have any suspects.

The Sun also features the article U.S. budget deficit nears $407 billion under latest estimates. This article captures an audience on a national level. The increase of U.S. debt ultimately affects millions of Americans. It is a debt that citizens will have to pay. The Sun's competitor the Washington Post's website features a article covering the same topic.

The story proves to be newsworthy because it exhibits impact. Americans are already feeling the affects of our dwindling economy through the cost of living rising, food prices increasing as well as gas prices teetering up and down.

The article presents conflict because the increase of debt means that it will take longer for the U.S. to pay it off. Timeliness is demonstrated because reporter Andrew Taylor posted the article based on the Congressional Budget office releasing the debt figures earlier Tuesday (today).

Lastly, Lynn Spears writes about daughters in book is an article feature under the Celebrity News section of the website. Prominence is the sole reason for this story to be considered newsworthy.

Lynn Spears is mother of pop singer Britney Spears and actress Jamie Lyn Spears. The two girls are celebrities who have caused controversies in the past and have been victims of numerous tabloids.

Furthermore, the article has timeliness because Lynn's book is scheduled to be published on Sept. 16. This article can inform fans of Britney and Jamie Lynn to expect the book.

(the articles examined in this blog are courtesy of The Baltimore Sun)


Ashley said...

Great in text links! But separate into chunks. Paragraphs should be a little smaller. Also, try to always include a picture it draws the reader more and keeps them interested. But, very newsworthy facts overall!

diva momi said...

I found your blog to be straight forward and interesting good job