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Journalism and Journalistic Writing

Summary:

These resources provide an overview of journalistic writing with explanations of the most important and most often used elements of journalism and the Associated Press style. This resource, revised according to The Associated Press Stylebook 2012, offers examples for the general format of AP style. For more information, please consult The Associated Press Stylebook 2012, 47th edition.

Contributors:Christopher Arnold, Tony Cook, Elizabeth Angeli, Joshua M. Paiz
Last Edited: 2011-09-27 06:57:32

Introduction

Why is it that mass media outlets feature particular news stories prominently while others receive little, if any, coverage? Although every outlet is different, mass media gatekeepers have traditionally relied on some predictable values to evaluate the newsworthiness of a story. Their decision might impact how the story is covered, including how many resources are spent following the story, and how prominently the story is featured.

In the present era of audience fragmentation, individual audience members increasingly choose what kind of news content they receive, yet traditional news values often still govern how deeply a news story permeates a community. In 1973, Gatlung and Ruge developed one of the first models of news values. Shoemaker el al. followed up in 1987 with a similar model. Both offer a useful framework for understanding how gatekeepers evaluate potential news stories.

Gatlung and Ruge, 1973

Shoemaimker et al., 1987

Conclusion

Every news outlet has a different protocol for selecting which stories to run, but some traditional values often determine the “newsworthiness” of a story. The more of these news values a story satisfies, the more likely you are to see it prominently featured in mass media outlets.

Sources

Campbell, Vincent. Information Age Journalism: Journalism in an International Context. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2006. 117-123.

Fleming, Carole, et al. An Introduction to Journalism. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2006. 4-26.

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