Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Lecture 9 Reflection - NEWS VALUES

“Journalism is the first draft of history.”

In this afternoons lecture Dr Redman talked about news values, and what makes something news worthy.  As of this week in JOUR1111 we will be focusing on journalism studies subjects, which is the more heavy duty theoretical journalism material.  News values are based on the degree of prominence a media outlet gives to a story, and the attention that is paid to the story by the audience.  Media outlets can determine what the audience gives attention to by deciding what to publish and give importance to. 

“Journalists rely on instinct rather than logic when it comes to defining a sense of news values.”
 – John Sergeant

Dr Redman took us through the history of news values and how newsworthiness has developed and changed over time.  The 12 factors of news worthiness was very interesting and basically summed up the importance of news values.  We also discussed how new news values can often be created, some examples are, religion and terrorism.  In the past, these two subjects would not be considered news values, but events that have occurred in the past ten years have made these two subjects very prominent in news today.  Religion and terrorism are issues that people want to read about and discuss. 

News that is worthy and has good news values has an impact on people; the audience can identify its relevance and find interest in the story.  A news value that I find to be particularly important is relevance.  People want to read stories that are relevant to their lives.  Even if it is an international story it should be localised so readers can relate to the story.  In the 21st century I believe another very important news value is visualisation.  With so much now being posted online, readers want to see formatting and images that draw them into the story. 

“Journalists do not adhere to formal codes of newsworthiness that can be identified or promulgates... instead, the informal code of what constitutes a good story is part of newsroom initiation and socialisation.” – Judy McGregor

Today Dr Redman introduced us to the term ‘Churnalism’.  Churnalism refers to journalists just grabbing press releases and publishing stories without checking the facts.  Churnalism can lead to untrustworthy, irresponsible, misleading and incomplete journalism.  It shows how much journalism has been affected by public relations. 

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