Wednesday, February 27, 2008


NEWS: News is like information itself. The news is a vital component of the life of individuals, groups, communities and nations. News is the reporting of current events usually by local, regional or mass media in the form of newspapers, television radio programs or sites on the World Wide Web. In this sense, News is what somebody some-where wants to suppress.

About news Charles Dana said, “News is anything which interests a large part of the community and has never been brought to their attention.”

The United Press Association-“News is anything and everything interesting about life and materials in all their manifestation.”

News Value: Every event, which is reported in the news, has gone through some kind of gate keeping process. How does a journalist or an editor decide what’s newsworthy and what’s not. According to some researchers, they refer to a set of so-called “news value”. These are the criteria, which enable them to determine whether a story is followed up in the first place and then whether it makes it into the news, competing against all the other possible items.

Impact: Information has impact if it affects a lot of people. Reporters are constantly measuring what effect events have on their readers. Political and economic stories receive so much attention because they frequently have profound impact on our lives.

Ex: A proposed income tax increase, for instance, has impact, because an income tax increase would affect a lot of people.

Timeliness: It is also a basic news value as old news is no news. Information has timeliness if it happened recently. The miracle of present-day communication frequently makes the announcement of the news almost coincide with the instant of its happening.

Ex: For a daily newspaper, however, events that happened during the 24 hours since last edition of the paper are timely.

Prominence: Information has prominence if it involves a well-known person or organization. Events in the lives of particularly well known people also are given particular attention by the press.

Ex: If you or I trip and fall, no one will be all that interested, because you and I aren’t well known. But if the President of Bangladesh trips and falls, everyone will be interested because the President is well known.

Proximity: Information has proximity if it involves something happened somewhere nearby. Readers are interested in the problems of people and places they know.

Ex: If a bus wreck in Feni kills 25 people, the Daily Star will devote may two or three grafs to the story. But if a bus wreck in Savar near Jahangir Nagar University kills 25 people, the Daily Star will devote sizable chunk of its front page to the story.

Unusual: Information has unusual if it involves something unusual or strange. The unusual is the news judgement standard that explains the old journalism cliche. “When a dog bite a man, it’s not news. But when a man bites a dog, it is news.”

Ex: Mahfuj Anam, a famous editor was saying that people are interested in out of the ordinary things, like a man biting a dog.

Conflict: Information has conflict if it involves some kind of disagreement between two or more people. Many types of stories have conflict as their underlying element-the struggle against odds. Here are several of these types:
1. Man’s struggle with nature.
2. Struggle between individual and organized society.
3. Struggle between political and economic groups:
a) Wars.
b) Campaigns.
c) Strikes.

Ex: Fights have drama—who will win? And invite those watching to choose sides and root for one or more of the combatants.

Currency: Information has currency if it is related to some general topic a lot of people are already talking about. The news must also take into account what’s on people’s mind. Reporters and editors sometimes look for a current event or trend that will enable them to investigate ordinarily less newsworthy subjects.

Ex: A mugging in Chittagong generally won’t attract much attention from reporters at the Daily Star. But if the mugging occurred a day after a report by the RAB had named Chittagong the city with the state’s fastest growing crime rate, the mugging would be big news.

Human interest: News of fellow human beings or of animals which touch our emotions come under ‘Human interest”. Such stories have a way of appealing to such primary emotions as love, pity, horror, fear, sympathy, jealousy and sacrifice.

Weight: The weight required for a story to make the newspaper will very depending on the size of the city or town in which that paper circulated. Some stories are newsworthy because they have historical weight. A murder has more weight than a robbery, a robbery more weight than a burglary.

Emotion: Some news appeals directly to our emotions. Readers are not always concerned only with what is most important. Reporters must take into account these human interests.

Ex: Five children, including a 4-month-old boy lost when his mother stumbled during a desperate escape attempt, were killed in a house fire early tomorrow.

Change: The world is not static. Everything will change very quickly. Everything affected by this change, basically the people are mostly affected by this change. This change the more important it is from the news point of view.

Disaster: Disaster always makes the news. Disaster means-a result of natural calamity likes earthquake, a volcano eruption, cyclone, flood or man made event like green house effect.

Educational Value: As journalist attempt to reflect on, as well as react to, an often puzzling word, more and more stories are being written that are designed to make us more knowledgeable rather than merely better informed.

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