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What is News? That which papers print? Hard News: important, of consequence to and affects reader Soft News: interesting, unusual, not crucial.

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Presentation on theme: "What is News? That which papers print? Hard News: important, of consequence to and affects reader Soft News: interesting, unusual, not crucial."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is News? That which papers print? Hard News: important, of consequence to and affects reader Soft News: interesting, unusual, not crucial

2 Who Cares? Asking this question is an easy method to determining if something is news or not. Keep in mind your audience when you answer that question. News means different things to different people. Localizing news is important for your audience. How does the Joplin tornado affect them? Interview a student who went to the Womens World Cup in Soccer, dont just report old news

3 Audience Primary Audience Secondary Audience Who are these for The Patriot?

4 Elements of News What does it take to make it into print?

5 1. Timeliness The story has just happened or is about to happen. Very important when competing with other news outlets. Breaking news! Not as critical of an element for high school newspapers.

6 2. Proximity (nearness) An event with local appeal that occurs in our neighborhood, to our friends, to our age groups or those who share our interests Nearby events will matter more to readers than events in other cities, states, countries. Especially important in high school newspapers

7 3. Prominence Does this story involve a well-known public figure or celebrity? Generally, names make news. These can be people known for their wealth, social position, achievement or previous positive or negative publicity. At a high school, prominence refers to principals, other administration, teachers, student leaders and other students who excel in sports, academics, etc or make themselves otherwise known.

8 4. Consequence/Impact Does the story matter to readers? Will it have an affect on their lives or their pocketbooks? The bigger the consequences, the bigger the story becomes. In high school news, consider how many of the student body are affected (i.e. graduation requirements change vs. destination of the senior class trip).

9 5. Conflict Clashes of all kinds: wars, strikes, political campaigns, protests, sports rivalries One of the most basic and important news elements as well as most frequent; all good stories have a conflict. Both physical and mental Human vs. human; human vs. animal; human vs. self; human vs. environment, etc.

10 6. Progress Involves any significant change for the betterment of humanity May refer to achievements in a research lab, business, legislative body, etc.

11 7. Human Interest Usually soft/feature news Includes the following elements

12 7.a. Drama Mystery, suspense, comedy, the unusual, the bizarre Facts are often told through storytelling. NOTE: ALL drama must be true.

13 7. b. Oddity or unusualness A dog bites a man = no news. A man bites a dog = news.

14 7. c. Relationships News value in stories of romance, marriage, divorce and other relationships. Can be reported maturely in an informative and non- sensational way. In high school, should be aware of community standards and audience ages when covering this topic.

15 7. d. Emotions/Instincts Desire for food, clothing and shelter; universal interest in children and animals; and the elements of fear, jealousy, sympathy, love and generosity Usually told in feature style writing. In high school journalism, stories that involve student or faculty deaths or serious illnesses, food drives, charity events, community volunteerism, new fashions and fads, animal shelters, etc.

16 7. e. Children & Animals They are so cute! But be careful of the cute overkill.

17 Practice time! Get out a sheet of paper and put your name and hour at the top. For each story, identify the elements of news present…there may be more than one.

18 Newsworthy or not? #1 Cheerleader tryouts spark controversy among families

19 Newsworthy or not? #2 Work on air conditioning and new parking lot could begin as early as April

20 Newsworthy or not? #3 City council to vote on smoking ban tomorrow

21 Newsworthy or not? #4 Jazz bands to host festival tomorrow

22 Newsworthy or not? #5 Girls advance to regional basketball tournament

23 Newsworthy or not? #6 Junior participates and wins Special Olympics event

24 Newsworthy or not? #7 Kansas Regents schools raise admissions standards

25 Newsworthy or not? #8 Math/Science team to attend contest next week

26 Newsworthy or not? #9 Two students work part time as clowns for McDonalds

27 Newsworthy or not? #10 Students stole pylons from football game, school charged $600 for replacement


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