What is Newsworthiness? Journalism Tips for Creating Relevant Stories

Jerz > Writing > Journalism

What makes something newsworthy?

  • Extraordinary events are more newsworthy than ordinary ones.
  • Notable people are more newsworthy than ordinary ones.
  • Something that has a significant impact is more newsworthy than something with a slight impact.
  • Something that impacts more people is more newsworthy than something that impacts few people.
  • Something that is local, or relevant to a significant number of local people, is more newsworthy than something that is or seems remote.
  • A recent story is more newsworthy than a stale story.

Few news stories will be equally newsworthy for every one of the criteria listed above. It may be enough if the story meets just one criterion.

For examples, such as this one my student Rebecca Scassellati drew (depicting the pope losing a clone of George Washington in a vending machine), listen to this 9-minute audio podcast.

Boring: “Random Person Loses Dollar in Vending Machine”. Newsworthy: “Pope Loses Clone of George Washington in Vending Machine”