How to Write Newsworthy Content


News is information about current events that affects the public. It may be broadcast on television, published in a newspaper or magazine, posted on the Internet or shouted across a classroom. It is usually about something important or exciting that has happened, but it can also be about a local event. It is often regarded as being ‘highly valued’ because people want to be informed about what is happening in their community and in the world.

There are many theories about why some news is deemed to be more valuable than others, but they cannot explain everything. Even if all the above criteria are met, events will still not always be given equal prominence; some will simply not be considered ‘newsworthy’ at the time of reporting, and other stories will move up or down the hierarchy depending on a number of factors. These include practical considerations such as the availability of resources and time, subjective, unconscious influences such as social, educational and ideological beliefs, the environment in which journalists work and the types of audiences for whom they are producing news.

Once you know what type of story you’re writing, you can start gathering information from sources. Typically, you’ll want primary sources – those that come directly from the source of the story, such as interviewing a firefighter who helped save a cat from a burning building or sourcing information about the history of the cat from its owner. You’ll also need secondary sources, which are pieces of information collected from other sources, such as previous news coverage of the fire or medical records about the cat’s health.

A key part of a news article is to provide all the relevant details, which will help your readers understand what has happened and why it’s newsworthy. To ensure this, you should cover the five Ws of a news story: who, what, where, when and why. You should also provide background about the topic, such as what is its significance or impact.

The way we gather and consume news is changing rapidly, with the rise of new media, specialised outlets and local news aggregators that combine multiple sources into one destination. It is difficult to predict what will happen next, but it’s likely that the range of options available for disseminating news will continue to grow.

As new technology has made it easier to distribute news, traditional media have been able to break stories more quickly than they could in the past. But that does not necessarily mean that they are providing a complete picture of what is happening, and there is a growing concern that some information is missing or being suppressed. This update to Harcup and O’Neill (2001) offers some pointers for further research into news values, in the hope of making this a more widely available and better understood body of knowledge. It should be stressed, however, that this is not intended to be a comprehensive list of news values or to substitute for detailed, empirical study of the process by which journalists decide what is newsworthy.