News is a piece of information about an event that would be a matter of interest for a large number of readers. History never actually repeats, but it does seem to repeat tendencies. Similarly, news stories never duplicate each other, but they do have a way of falling into definite categories. Analyzing them as we read them from day to day or listen to them as they come over through difference source of news like radio, TV or newspaper. We can easily distinguish elements of news interest which recur constantly. Sometimes a news story will contain several of these interest provoking news elements but sometimes one.
9 Elements of News
There are nine elements of news which enhance the news value.
Immediacy or timeliness is an important requisite of news. A reporter usually places emphasis on the latest angles of, an event. The words ‘today’ and ‘tomorrow’ are related in most of the news stories. Occasionally a story may concern events that happened in the past. In this case, the reporter discusses some present aspect of a past event.
Proximity or nearness refers to geographic nearness. Normally a reader is more interested in an event geographically nearer than the one which has taken place in some remote part of the world.
A reporter should emphasize the angle of a story that will interest most readers, listeners or viewers in terms of consequences.
Prominence means persons, places, things and situations known to the public for their weather, social position, achievement or previous publicity. The reporter should always add as many prominent names and places in news stories, as possible. The more renowned a particular name, place event or situation, the more interest the news will create among its readers.
It also promotes the value of a news story. A reporter always tries to find picturesque background and dramatic action for his news.
Oddity or queerness always helps to make facts interesting. The greater the degree of oddity in a story, the greater is its value as news.
It is one of the most important of news elements. It is inherent in nearly all news of sports, war, crime, violence and internal disputes and in all stories involving difference of opinion. Generally, the news of conflict also involves other news values as drama and oddity and therefore, has an emotional impact, a factor that appeals to many people. Many types of stories have conflict as their underlying element the struggle against odd. Here are some of these types
- Man’s struggle with nature
- Struggle between individual and organized society
- Struggle between political and economic groups i.e. wars, campaigns, strikes
It is an integral part of human life. Sex is a vital news element in stories of romance, marriage, divorce and other illicit relationships among members of opposite sexes as readers want their emotions stirred.
It involves any significant change for the betterment of humanity. It may also refer to an achievement in the laboratory, industry or a legislative body etc.
A number of factors modify the importance of news elements in actual practice; the policy of a news medium may increase or decrease the importance of a story. The class of readers, listeners and viewers that dominate the audience of a paper, radio or television determines largely what is going to be presented. The amount of space available to a paper or the amount of time available on radio or television determines whether a story is to be told briefly or in detail. Time often alters the value of a story and finally the previous presentation of a story, on any medium, changes its value.