What Is Newsworthy? (10m animated lecture)

How do journalists determine what events are worth covering? “Dog bites man” is routine, but “man bites dog” is unusual, so it’s more newsworthy.

  • Unusual events are more newsworthy than ordinary events.
  • Important people, and ordinary people who do important/unusual things are more newsworthy than ordinary people who do ordinary things.
  • Events with a significant impact are more newsworthy than events with a trivial impact.
  • Events that affect many people are more newsworthy than events that affect few people.
  • Events that happened nearby are more newsworthy than events that happen far away.
  • A recent event being reported for the first time is news; if it happened weeks or months ago, and your readers can Google it, then it’s not news.

Few stories will meet every criteria. Usually the more newsworthy stories will be newsworthy for more reasons.