What you'll need for workshops in weeks 2 and 3
Create accounts with the following social media and content production platforms (we assume you already have a Facebook account):
What is news?
Research (Galtung & Ruge, 1965) has historically shown that news stories have five key features:
- Timeliness: Unsurprisingly, news is best if it is ‘new’.
- Conflict: News stories are narratives. And conflict lies at the heart of all narratives, especially in Western cultures. As such, bad news is good for journalists. This is one of the biggest criticisms leveled at the news media.
- Signficance / impact: Again, this is not surprising. For example, the number of people injured or killed in a disaster will influence the amount of prominence the story receives.
- Proximity: The closer the story is to "home", the more likely it is to get reported. For example, a car accident at Kenmore will almost certainly be covered by the local newspaper, will most likely get covered by the Brisbane Times, but will almost certainly not receive coverage in the Sydney Morning Herald. Cultural proximity is also important; the number of Australians impacted by international events will influence how much coverage a story receives (this often leads to criticisms that the news presents a very limited picture of international news).
- Prominence: Famous people get more media attention because ... they're famous. Prominence, timeliness and proximity can often interact to increase the significance of any event. For example: A minor assault involving a State of Origin player on Origin eve.
- Human interest: This can often contradict the timeliness factor. News can be more dated if it taps into strong emotions (e.g. sadness, anger, amusement). Human interest stories often appear at the end of a bulletin for the "feel good" factor -- a classic is the "cat stuck up a tree story"!