Understanding the News Media
What makes a “good” story?
What do reporters usually want?
- Does it matter to the average person (relevance to audience)?
- Does it have a “news peg” or is it part of a larger trend?
- Does it have “gee whiz” appeal?
- Does it have emotional appeal?
- Is it one of the six C’s — crime, catastrophe, crisis, corruption, conflict, color? (Old TV saying, “If it bleeds, it leads.”)
- A story (not just information)
- The bottom line (instant analysis, a short sound bite)
- To meet the deadline
- To stick up for the little guy
Some standard journalism practices
- Reporters identify themselves as members of the press
- Sources generally may not review stories in advance
- Written documentation is highly desirable
- Documents distributed/presented at public meetings are expected to be available to all in attendance, including media