Archive for November 17th, 2015

November 17, 2015

News Values

gatekeeping

News values, or ‘news criteria,’ determine how much prominence a news story is given by a media outlet, and the attention it garners from its audience. These values are not universal and can vary widely between different cultures. In Western practice, decisions on the selection and prioritization of news are ostensibly made by editors on the basis of their experience and intuition.

However, a seminal analysis by Norwegian sociologists Johan Galtung and Mari Ruge in the ‘Journal of Peace Research’ in 1965 showed that several factors are common, such as familiarity (stories that ‘hit close to home’), negativity (‘if it bleeds, it leads’), and Unexpectedness (‘don’t report on fire in a furnace’). Basing his judgement on many years as a newspaper journalist Tim Hetherington has said that ‘anything which threatens people’s peace, prosperity, and well being is news and likely to make headlines.’

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