What is the news?
The news is not transparent but rather a product of journalistic routines and standardised procedures and so by the time it reaches audiences, the news it the result of a series of selections. Choices are made from new organisation conventions rather than by applying objective standards (Lee-Wright 2012)
News contains 4 main features;
Being transient: The news is transient as it is more than common sense but less than formal knowledge
Pseudo-events: are various occurrences that are arranged for the convenience of the mass media
Narrativisation: items are from the start called ‘stories’ and they are shaped into narrative form as soon as possible
Visual imperatives: especially prevalent in television news and drive toward stories that have ‘strong’ pictures
There are also 8 news values, cultural proximity (culturally similar will get particular attention over the distant), relevance (event may be culturally distant but still have meaning for the audience), rarity (the more unexpected the event, the higher its chances of being included as news), continuity (a big event will continue to be news even if the amplitude is reduced), elite references (elite can be both nations and people – the larger and more well -known), negativity (negative news is more hard-hitting), composition (the story will be selected and edited according to the editor’s sense of the balance) and finally personalisation (events are seen as the actions of individuals e.g. politicians).
These features and values shape the news in which audiences receive.
Lee-Wright, P (2012) ‘News Values: An Assessment of News Priorities Through a Comparative Analysis of Arab Spring Anniversary Coverage’ JOMEC Journal: Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, available online at http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/jomec/jomecjournal/1-june2012/leewright_newsvalues.pdf