THE NEWS AGENDA
THE NEWS PROCESS
NEWS VALUES & GATEKEEPING
Public Relations (PR) Companies (Max Clifford)
Institutions such as NHS, OFCOM, Trade Unions
The Monarchy & Parliament
Court cases or Trials
Other Media News. Newspapers, Twitter etc
These organisations sell their stories to news producers
worldwide. Each agency has their own reporters,
photographers and broadcast crews. The Press
Association transmits an average of 1500 stories and 100
pictures every day. They sell both footage and edited
packages ready for transmission.
Associated Press (International organisation)
Reuters (International organisation)
United Press International (International organisation)
Press Association (Main British News Agency)
WORLDWIDE TV NEWS AGENCIES
The following are specialist TV news agencies
that developed from traditional press based
agencies. These are dominated by western
based companies whose values are rooted in
British and American ideologies. So is
international news guilty of media imperialism?
APTN Associated Press Television News
NEWS AGENDA: News Categories
How news producers construct & prioritise
news stories and set their own news agenda
THE NEWS PROCESS 1
Producing a news programme means defining and
predicting the news. Editors (editorial staff not video
editors) will be overseeing the planning and
preparation of the news all day long liasing with their
What follows is an example of a typical day. BUT
remember a late breaking important story can mean all
the planning goes out of the window and everything
has to change to roll with the news story OR new
THE NEWS PROCESS 2
Evening before editorial meeting & rough running order
Editorial conference about news agenda (BBC: 9am)
News stories assigned researcher & reporters briefed
Crews sent out to start news gathering
Graphics and studio work organised
Video editors & producers prepare short items
Sub-editors write up stories
Library researchers get back up footage for stories
Video editors produce news packages for days stories
THE NEWS PROCESS 3
News presenters prepare and rehearse scripts
Sub editors write final scripts
Programme is rehearsed & final story selection made
Autocue script is typed up
VTR inserts are cued up
Programme editor & studio director can change agenda
Presenters have to be able to change running order
Director oversees process in control room
Crew: Vision Mixer, OB crew, VT, Sound Mixer etc etc
NEWS VALUES 1: Galtung & Ruge 1973
Immediacy: Has it happened recently?
Familiarity: Is it culturally close to us in Britain?
Amplitude: Is it a big event that affects large numbers?
Frequency: Does the event happen often?
Unambiguity: Is it clear and definite?
Predictability: Did we expect it to happen?
Surprise: Is it rare or unexpected event?
Continuity: Has it previously been defined as news?
Elite Nations/People: Big countries or celebrities?
Personalisation: Is it a human interest story?
Negativity: Is it bad news?
Balance: ”and finally” fun story to balance bad news…
Setting the News Agenda
Using worksheet 3 look at the top stories on
2 different news programmes.
Fill in the grids and add comments to see
how the news values for each programme
NEWS VALUES 2: Jeremy Tunstall 1971
Galtung & Ruge’s news values primarily deal with news
stories in newspapers but can be applied to TV news also.
Tunstall took a step further and argued that the following
factors also greatly shaped TV News.
Importance of the visual. If good footage is available the
story may become more important in TV news agenda.
News stories with “own reporters” conducting IV’s or
commentating are preferred.
TV News covers far fewer stories than newspapers. The
stories are also shorter and generally in less depth.
Hard news or actuality is preferred.
NEWS VALUES 3: Dennis McShane 1979
Dennis McShane identifieds the following 5
criteria as being used by journalists in their
selection of news stories.
Hardship & Danger to the Community.
Identifying News values
Using worksheet 5 first split into groups and be
either Newsround, The BBC News at 10, OR
Channel 5 News.
From the selection of news stories decide upon
your running order identifying your top 6 stories
and then from this your top 3 and write a
headline for these.
NEWS VALUES: Time, Economics & Ratings
Time: Only a certain number of stories can be
covered in a 30 minute news programme. So
decisions have to be made which are not only due to
news values but economics and ratings. News is
rarely allowed to overrun. Examples?
Economics: It is impossible to have a news crew atr
every story across the world. TV News is expensive
to make so resources have to be allocated carefully.
Ratings: Are important to broadcasters and it is
essential that the news can hold or even attract an
NEWS VALUES: GATEKEEPING 1
Gatekeeping was a term coined by Galtung & Ruge to
refer to the decisions made by news producers when
selecting or rejecting potential news stories.
A select few people are shaping the news stories that are
reported daily to millions of audience members and they
are shaping and determining what is news.
Consider why some events, issues of groups are
presented in particular ways such as assylum seekers.
Also why some message and ideological views are rarely
seen or heard on the news such as the BNP….
NEWS VALUES: GATEKEEPING 2
Everyone involved in the creation of TV news acts as a
gatekeeper in some way as creating representations while
they re-present the news. This includes producers,
camera-people and also video editors etc. Their decisions
depend upon the following.
The news values of the institution
The news values and priority of them to the show
The expectations of their audience
Their own ideological values
Their education, class and upbringing
NEWS VALUES: GATEKEEPING 3
News agendas vary in different TV news shows. Nick
Robinson worked at BBC for 16 years and then became
political editor at ITN.
“ ITN is quite ruthless, in a way that the BBC isn’t always,
at boiling a story down to it’s key elements and getting rid
of extrenuous detail. Stories about celebrities like Winona
Ryder are just as important on the ITN news agenda as
stories aboiut the Conserative Party Leader.” (The
Stuart Hood (1972) argues that the majority of media
gatekeepers practice “middle-class consensus politics” that
affects their news agenda decisions.
Scripting a Story
Using worksheet 7 in your groups plan how
you would approach the story given for
either of our local regional Anglia Tonight or
Look East news programme.
You need to write a short script, mention
GV’s you may use and any IV’s you think
would be appropriate and any other footage
OR sound you would need.