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What is News?

TODAY’S BUZZ TIP | August 10, 2009

Just realized that while we’ve talked about press releases, blogs, media, celebrities, press kits, and many other topics, there’s one extremely important topic that I haven’t touched upon yet.  And it’s so basic.  So what is news?  What are reporters interested in?  This is mostly for newspapers, broadcasting and other media that is immediate and reports on real news.  What constitutes real news?  Well, it’s called “news determinants” and they are:

Timeliness: News is perishable. It loses value as it ages.  What happened yesterday, last night or this morning is more interesting than what happened last week.

Prominence: Important people are more newsworthy than others.  Politicians, celebrities, singers, athletes etc.  Of course this is no surprise.  However it also applies to business, the CEO is more newsworthy than Joe Schmo in accounting.  If you own your own business, well, you are more important than anyone else in your company and what you do is of interest, just got to pick the right outlet.

Proximity: News closer to home is more valuable.  However, if there are U.S. tourists in Argentina who are affected by, say, an explosion, then that’s of value.

Consequence: That which directly affects readers has more value.  This is where you can really make some news.  Does your product affect consumers directly?  Does it make their life better, their finances easier to manage, their children healthier?  Then that’s valuable.

Human Interest: The unusual (oddities), conflicts (war, sports, elections) and emotion (stories about children, animals, humor).

So, got news?

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