Dr. Drissia CHOUIT

Moulay Ismail University


News Literacy

Reading 4.1.

News Values: Part I


Adapted from:

Potter, Beborah. Handbook of Independent Journalism.U.S. Department of State: Bureau of International Information Programs, 2006.





The answer to the question “What is news?” may seem obvious. News is what is new; it’s what’s happening. Look it up in the dictionary, and you’ll find news described as “a report of recent events or previously unknown information.” It is also defined as "information about recent and important events" and "the quality of being sufficiently interesting to be reported in news bulletins".


But most of the things that happen in the world every day don’t find their way into the newspaper or onto the air in a newscast. In fact, journalists decide what news to cover based on many of the following “news values”.





Did something happen recently or did we just learn about it? If so, that could make it newsworthy. 



Generally speaking, news is information that is of broad interest to the intended audience, so what is big news in Paris may not be news at all in Washington.



Are many people affected or just a few? Contamination in the water system that serves your town’s 20,000 people has impact because it affects your audience directly. 



Did something happen close to home, or did it involve people from here? A plane crash in Chad will make headlines in N’Djamena, but it is unlikely to be front-page news in Chile unless the plane was carrying Chilean passengers.



Are people in disagreement about this? It’s human nature to be interested in stories that involve conflict, tension, or public debate. People like to take sides, and see whose position will prevail.



Is a well-known person involved? Ordinary activities or mishaps can become news if they involve a prominent person like a prime minister or a film star.



Are people here talking about this? A government meeting about bus safety might not draw much attention, unless it happens to be scheduled soon after a terrible bus accident. An incident at a football match may be in the news for several days because it is the main topic of conversation in town.



Is what happened unusual? As the saying goes, “If a dog bites a man, that is not news. But if a man bites a dog, it’s news!” The extraordinary and the unexpected appeal to our natural human curiosity.




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kaoutar bouhtiyya | Réponse 15.02.2021 17:13

thank you so much, professor, for your efforts

El-loussi SALAHEDDINE | Réponse 09.01.2021 18:16

Thank you professor. Appreciated

Douja | Réponse 07.12.2020 11:55

Thank you Madame ,much appreciated

Oyabob Zakaria | Réponse 24.09.2020 17:04

Excellent madam

Abdenasser hamidi | Réponse 21.09.2020 17:31

Thank so much for these useful information I appreciate your work

sanae akhabbil | Réponse 21.09.2020 16:08

Thank you Madam ...

Ibtissam ess | Réponse 14.09.2020 19:18

Thank you professor for this , much appreciated.

Meryem Marouani | Réponse 09.09.2020 19:36

Thank you madam!!

Salah AIT-ALI | Réponse 15.11.2018 15:06

Very interesting Madam..
Thanks a million for this great effort you did and you are still doing with us..

Naima | Réponse 19.05.2018 00:51

Your student
Thank you so much.

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02.06 | 08:01

thank you so much professor for these important points.

25.05 | 04:35

Copy this link, paste it in your browser, then click on it http://elab.lms.athabascau.ca/

25.05 | 04:23

Already done!

25.05 | 04:22

No. This website provides some units of the course + complementary information and resources. You have to combine both e-learning platform and this website.

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