What Makes a Story Newsworthy

Week #6

There are several things to consider when determining if a story is newsworthy.

  • First, is it timely? News must be current. How to tell if your news is current: Is your news linked to current events and/ or holidays? Can your story be linked to another event that has national recognition and interest? Does your story add information to an event or situation that is already being extensively covered by the news media? Is there a human element, an educational component or call to action?
  • Prominence.  Is there a prominent person involved that will draw attention to your story, such as political figures, athletes, and other people in prominent positions or well-known organizations.
  • Proximity.  Is there a local angle to the story?  Include the names of individual local people, organizations, and retailers in the story.
  • Significance. Will the story affect a substantial number of people on a local, regional or national level?
  • Unusualness.  Does your story have a hook? Is there something unusual about it that will grab the media’s attention?
  • Human Interest.  People like to read about other people. Can you bring a human face to the story?
  • Conflict. Conflict generates media interest and coverage. When two or more groups advocate different views on a topic of current interest, creates news.
  • Newness. Anything new is newsworthy–a new product or service, new uses for old products, new trends, products or services associated with new buzz words, such as “organic,” “natural,” or “green.”

In summary, here are several ways to grab media attention and make your news, newsworthy:

  • Tie your news in with news events of the day.
  • Tie in with a holiday.
  • Make an award.
  • Hold a contest.
  • Tie in to a well-known week or day.
  • Take part in a controversy.
  • Conduct a poll or survey.
  • Stage a special event.
  • or, join with another organization on a joint project.

Source: Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques

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