Take Away Assignment #2: What Is News and Where Does News Come From?

September 23rd, 2013,

Cam Kennedy

Publishers and editors who work in the news world are faced with predicaments everyday of deciding what is news of interest to their readers, listeners or viewers. A good rule of thumb that professor Andy Clarke talked about in his lecture on Monday afternoon was the S.I.N. rule. S.I.N. is an acronym that Clarke shared which stands for “significant, interesting, and new”. This acronym could help the men and women in charge of what is news very much as it can aid in determining what news their audience would be the most interested in.

So, how can we determine what is really news? Well, as Clarke explained in his lecture, there are seven different components that determine what is and isn’t news. These components include:

-Proximity: the distance as to where the news is happening in comparison to where the audience of the broadcast or print is based out of.

-Prominence: the importance of the news

-Impact: the effect the news has on the audience of listeners, viewers, or readers of news.

-Conflict/Controversy: what exactly has occurred courtesy of the event and the after shock the event has created.

-Unexpectedness: determining if the event is something that is out of the ordinary based on factors such as climate (tornado, heat wave, etc..), sporting events (major upset), natural surroundings (black bear sighting, etc..). All of these factors could be of news as they may be events that don’t happening everyday based on where the audience is based out of.

-Timeliness: when the event happens and if it is still prominent news of interest or if it is “old news”.

-System Breakdown: the collapse of an institution or country system, for example, the Watergate situation and the breakdown of Syria’s medical system due to the country’s civil war.

All of these factors can be used to determine what is news that an audience of print, radio, or online platforms would be interested in.

So, where do we get our news from and how do we gather our news? News can come from anywhere. Breaking news, fires, crime, events, and news coming from public institutions like city halls and school boards. We can gather our news through contacts, people who can give info as a journalist, and use them as a source in providing news to our audience.

All in all, news is every where, big or small, interesting or not, editors, publishers and others in the system just need to determine what news make the final cut.


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