What is news? Well the definition depends upon your perspective. If you consider yourself a business owner or a consumer, you would most likely ask yourself this question every day: “What is news?” Examples:
For a layperson, to define newsworthy, we must be able to point out what news is and isn’t. News is whatever is of interest to readers, not people who work for a living producing news. Therefore, to decide what is news is to decide what is of interest to human interest readers. Examples: political, business, health, education, and entertainment news.
In the business world, most business news stories report about mergers, acquisitions, stock price movements, dividend increases, financial statements, and job openings. A newspaper, magazine, or radio station will likely have more stories of this type than what are considered entertainment news. A person does not read newspapers, magazines, or radio stations for fun; they read for information. Most journalists are very busy working with reporters and editors to get scoops of breaking news quickly. Many journalists work for major networks, publications, or news outlets as a way to earn a paycheck. Their job is to find, report, and publish information that is relevant to their readership.
Readers also decide what is news and what is not based on what is of interest to them personally. A sport fan may not be interested in the latest scoring statistics. However, the serious sports fan will be very interested in the latest results from a major event. Everyone has a different personal news priority and many news readers will simply ignore news stories they are not interested in. Examples: breaking news on politics, celebrities, or other newsworthy items of interest to only certain groups of people.
A person can usually tell if a story is newsworthy based on its own merit and interest. The reader will note that it is relevant to them, what is new, or the current state of affairs. Stories that are clearly not of interest to the reader will seldom be picked up and read, unless they are written by an expert on the subject. When a story is picked up, and read, the reader will usually note that the story is interesting and worth reading. In many cases, the greater news value of the article is what the readers will be more interested in.
Some journalists make news stories more interesting by making them a little unusual. When this occurs, it will be noted and the reader will have a greater interest in the story. This does not mean that a more unusual event will make the story better, but that the event will be more interesting for that particular class of readers.
Another example of a way to make news more interesting is to focus on something that is unusual or newsworthy, while ignoring common interests or events. In many cases, when an interest is not strong enough, the use of uncommon items will be more reliable and have greater appeal than strong human interest stories. It may seem like common sense, but it is often observed that human interest and common sense sometimes conflict. When unusual items are reported, the reader will be more likely to pay attention because of their interest. The use of newsworthy but less common items will also be seen in a positive light.
As stated before, most news will focus on common things that are important to all citizens. However, there are some issues that will remain unique only to certain groups of people, or to certain communities within a country. When these issues are of interest to those who are outside of the normal circle of readers, news items that bring out the unique elements of the situation may become more important. When there is a great deal of interest for one group of people but no interest for another, the value of the story will often be different from the value of the story to another group. By understanding the importance of differentiating your style and topics, you can make sure that your content is read by a wider audience, and with a higher degree of interest.