Have you ever wondered why a story was in the news? Or how the media decides what stories are worth covering?
The media look for stories that have newsworthy value. For a story to be considered newsworthy it must have one of the following five factors.
Timing: A story must be new and current. A story is newsworthy if it happened today not if it happened last month.
Prominence: Prominent people, celebrities and well-known companies are newsworthy.
Human Interest: These stories appeal to human emotion and aim to evoke an emotional response such as sadness or amusement.
Significance: This relates to how many people the story affects. A story that affects a lot of people is more newsworthy then a story that only affects a small group of people.
Proximity: Where the story occurred. Journalists are more interested in local stories then stories about other countries, states or regions.
Another important consideration is the news agenda. The competition between stories for news coverage will have an effect on whether a story will run. For instance, if a major news story breaks such as a local natural disaster then most of the news stories for that day will be about the natural disaster. This means your newsworthy story may be bumped for an even better story. On a slow news day you may have a better chance of getting your story coverage because there is less competition.
PR professionals are always thinking about these factors to uncover newsworthy stories in their organisations or within their clients’ businesses. This helps to ensure their company or spokespeople are featured in publications that address their target audiences.
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