02/12/12 208 W - + 11 - 4 What Makes News News?

How about some media studies for our Sunday morning? Let's look at a nifty posting from the media relations blog Mr. Media Training. The title is The 11 Things That Journalist Consider Newsworthy. The subject is self-explanatory. What does the news consider news? The answer is more conceptual than specific. As author Brad Phillips cites in categories:

  1. Conflict.
  2. Local.
  3. Incident.
  4. Extremes or superlatives.
  5. New.
  6. Timely and relevant.
  7. Scandal.
  8. David versus Goliath.
  9. Incompetence.
  10. Surprising.
  11. Hypocrisy.

Read the posting and then we'll continue. Finished reading? Good. Next question, how do you feel about that list? Or maybe a better question is this: do you feel any different about the media, looking through a more conceptual lens? Based on comments both heard in person and read on this blog, there's isn't a lot of consistent love for The News.

But isn't "news" really just a function of core human communication? Meaning, it's one of the core reasons that people talk to each other. Can you take this list and apply it interpersonally? Maybe so. Think about what drives talking between people. What piques another person's interest, and what draws their attention away from themselves? Often, it's those things listed above. Your thoughts? Let's talk about talking!

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