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news values


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The informal journalistic criteria adopted in the editorial selection, prioritization, and presentation of events: implicit principles underlying the assessment of newsworthiness. Drawing on the psychology of perception, in 1965 Galtung and Ruge proposed eight hypothetical factors likely to influence the selection of reported events in any culture. Such events: match the timescale of the news schedule (unlike long-term trends); are sufficiently consequential to grab the headlines; are open to a clear interpretation rather than ambiguous; are culturally meaningful; are consonant with normal expectations; are unanticipated and/or rare; are a continuation of an existing news story; and/or fill a gap in the pattern of news covered. They also suggested four culture-bound factors: events were more likely to become news if they involved elite nations, elite people, a focus on individuals, and/or negative consequences. Journalistic selectivity is not deliberate bias, but Stuart Hall argues that news values, learned from socialization into newsroom routines, tend to favour the status quo. See also objectivity.

Subjects: Media Studies.


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