Comm 2221: What is news?

Here are some characteristics of news outlined in Bender’s Reporting for the Media. Keep these in mind as you identify, and then prioritize the 5 W’s and H.

**Timeliness
**Impact
**Prominence
**Proximity
**Unusual or quirky — singularity
**Conflict or controversy

TYPES OF NEWS

Hard — happening now or about to happen. Think “breaking news.” Accuracy is always first priority but speed does count with these stories, especially in the 24/7 global news cycle/competition.

Soft — features or human interest stories. They should have a news hook, but often it is not immediate. These stories tend to take longer, but have a longer shelf life, or potential interest for readers over extended period of time. Look for universal themes in life…try to evoke emotion.

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