TOW question: What makes a story newsworthy?
According to Ken Blake, Ph.D at Middle Tennessee State University, a newsworthy story must have at least one of these seven characteristics: impact, timeliness, prominence, proximity, conflict, weirdness, and currency. Impact means the information in the story affects a lot of people. Timeliness is the information has happened recently. Prominence is when the story is about or involves a well-known person or organization. Proximity is the location of the information of the story. Conflict is when the story involves a disagreement between two or more people. Weirdness is a story that involves something unusual or strange. Currency is a story that is related to a general topic that people are already talking about.
Having your story newsworthy is important in public relations. If your clients story is not worth reading then your client will not benefit. It is important for the PR person to create newsworthy, exciting, and interesting stories for your client. These newsworthy stories can get the publicity and notoriety that your client needs. It is also important to catch the eye of editors and journalists so that your clients organization or new product gets picked up and reviewed. There are millions of stories out and about every day trying to be picked up for general news, if your story does not have a newsworthy focus it will not be published or get looked at more seriously. Following the seven above characteristics is a great start for writing your clients story.
Stephen Friedman from the Franco Public Relations Group wrote an article titled How To Make Your Company\’s Story More Newsworthy. In this article he explains what newsworthy is. Friedman says, “No news story can be assigned a “newsworthiness value” on its own. The newsworthiness of developments within your company depends on a number of factors: newsworthiness changes from day-to-day, is your story of interest to a local newspaper or a regional or even national audience, and is your story part of a trend?”
I am taking a Journalism class this semester, and finding newsworthy stories are really easy. There is always something happening that the public wants to know about. The hard part is writing the newsworthy topic in a way that the public can read and enjoy.
(Topic of the Week Six)