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What are news values and why are they important in constructing news? What are the most important news values operating within TV news?

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Rhian Morgan October 31st 01 What are news values and why are they important in constructing news? What are the most important news values operating within TV news? All media institutions go through a process of deciding what items are news worthy or not before they include them for incorporation in the news. News Values are the various aspects that are generally considered in determining whether an 'story' is investigated, and then whether it is included or not. Galtung and Ruge wrote the best known list of news values. Even though it was written quite a while ago (1965) it is still of great relevance to news researchers today. The list consists of approximately 13 points, although these vary slightly from source to source. Frequency This is the time span of an event, and how well it fits into the production schedule. Items such as murders, plane crashes, etc, are of short duration and therefore will fit into the agenda. Background news items though, such as social, economical or political stories that have a longer life span and can take longer to unfold are of much lower priority. ...read more.


Football matches for example, especially if there has been recent trouble with hooligans. Also, if an event is highly unpredictable it is bound to make it into the news. However this unexpectedness should not be ambiguous, it should have a meaning, unless the newspaper can get away with it. Tabloid journalism for example, is more likely to get away with producing a bizarre story than a formal broadsheet. The story regarding the group of lesbians that abseiled into the House of Lords was practically guaranteed media coverage, not because it was a story about lesbians, but because of the paradox of the House of Lords, and lesbians abseiling into it. Composition This is the style and general tone of the newspaper, i.e. how it is made up. This almost always comes down to the editor's judgement. If there are many foreign stories around, a few domestic items will be included to create a balance, or if a major event is seizing all media attention (e.g. the New York tragedy) there will be a 'round up' of the day's other less important stories. Negativity These days bad news is good news for media moguls. ...read more.


If an event is going on, and the public wants to know about it, they will expect it to be on the television. Other news values that I think are important on TV are Proximity and Threshold. If something big is happening on the other side of the world, the public demands live news bulletins to inform them of what is happening. They expect camera shots from the scene, and in today's world, if a TV channel is not broadcasting the event as it happens, we would be surprised. Newspapers will obviously write about it the next day, but as with the New York attacks, it was assumed that the nation had heard about it from the television on the day it happened. The newspapers dealt with the story the next day, but they did break the news. Television, and now, more recently, the Internet, are relied on to bring the public immediate up-to-date news coverage. Television companies such as BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 have an obligation to bring the public unbiased, impartial news. Newspapers however, have a propensity to influence their readers, which is one of the reasons there are so many different newspapers out there. You have the freedom to choose which newspaper you want to read. ...read more.

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