Mac201 lecture - news values - sept 2011

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  • Could say things that are relevant to a particular nation matters of public interest. E.g. Terrorism. Things we should and need to know – govt, education, employment, NHS – inform us to help us make sense of the world and entertain.
  • Could say things that are relevant to a particular nation matters of public interest. E.g. Terrorism. Things we should and need to know – govt, education, employment, NHS – inform us to help us make sense of the world and entertain.
  • Could say things that are relevant to a particular nation matters of public interest. E.g. Terrorism. Things we should and need to know – govt, education, employment, NHS – inform us to help us make sense of the world and entertain.
  • Could say things that are relevant to a particular nation matters of public interest. E.g. Terrorism. Things we should and need to know – govt, education, employment, NHS – inform us to help us make sense of the world and entertain.
  • Could say things that are relevant to a particular nation matters of public interest. E.g. Terrorism. Things we should and need to know – govt, education, employment, NHS – inform us to help us make sense of the world and entertain.
  • Links back to 16 th century Big money business – advertisers generate money – keep them sweet Best story – will be seen across different newspapers because it is considered the most newsworthy thus generate most sales - money
  • Could argue that it is early tabloid style
  • The Sun Vs the Guardian Different target audiences – Sun, working class and Guardian, ABC1 demographic, educated intellectuals like yourself, graduates Sun, human interest – celebrity, real life stories/ Guardian, social commentators on current affairs, political and economic matters
  • Interested in – journalists use news values to prioritise news output. Not written down, exist in practice while learned on the job. Sun – celebrity, human interest Guardian – stories of a political nature Star – celebrity scandals and gossip
  • MP ’ s scandal – the event unfolded and more MP ’ s were guilty, media acted as a moral voice
  • Haiti – more devastation, the more newsworthy
  • (F4) Mumbai attacks, significant cultural meaning – reinforced fear of terrorism, reinforced the fear of Islam, further stories linking terrorists to Britain – also, the way in which they carried out the attack, laid back, calm - shocking
  • (F7) E.g. Swine flu, recession, John Terry (F8) broadsheets do this more than tabloids
  • Under Galtung and Ruge, Obama and Blair would be elites, but now you could argue that Cowell and the Beckhams are also elites too
  • More boxes it ticks, the more newsworthy the event Haiti earthquake – Threshold (magnitude) – human interest, emotive, loss of lives, fire fighters from UK went to help (make it more personal to home) becomes more relevant
  • Hall is suggesting that although news values appear as a set of neutral, routine practices – we also need to look at the ideological meaning behind the text. What is the text trying to say/ how do the audience decode this meaning? How framed? How presented by the media group and how interpreted by us.
  • Hall is suggesting that although news values appear as a set of neutral, routine practices – we also need to look at the ideological meaning behind the text. What is the text trying to say/ how do the audience decode this meaning? How framed? How presented by the media group and how interpreted by us.
  • Galtung and Ruge focussed their investigation on three international crisis. Much has changed since.
  • Whereas Galtung and Ruge used Elite People, Harcup and O ’ Neill identified that celebrities should have their own news value – celebrity culture. Shows a changing of the times
  • 4. All news is surprise, well most of? 5 & 6. Bad news – bank robbery rather than charity donation 7. Magnitude - Haiti
  • 8. Relevance – terrorist attack in Columbia, not news, victim British – news. Closure of a national newspaper 9. Phone hacking saga as an ongoing story (since 2006!) 10. Political agendas
  • Mac201 lecture - news values - sept 2011

    1. 1. MAC201 Section 1: News Week 2: News Values r [email_address]
    2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Rise of reporting </li></ul><ul><li>Galtung and Ruge (1965) </li></ul><ul><li>Harcup and O ’ Neil (2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul>
    3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>What is news...? </li></ul>
    4. 4. Introduction <ul><li>What is news...? </li></ul><ul><li>“ When a dog bites a man that is not news, but when a man bites a dog, that is news ” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Charles Anderson Dana, editor and proprietor, New York Sun , 1882) </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Introduction <ul><li>What is news...? </li></ul><ul><li>“ [News is] anything that makes the reader say ‘ Gee whiz ’” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(quoted in Mott, 1950: 126) </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Introduction <ul><li>What is news...? </li></ul><ul><li>“ News is what somebody wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising ” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(attributed to Lord Northcliffe in MacShane, 1979: 46 </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Introduction <ul><li>What is news...? </li></ul><ul><li>Millions of events happen every day – but why are the same stories replicated throughout the media? </li></ul>
    8. 8. Limited News Supply Because: <ul><li>Historical decisions regarding what is thought to be interesting to readers </li></ul><ul><li>Material thought to be inoffensive to specific advertisers </li></ul><ul><li>Material profitable to media companies </li></ul>
    9. 9. Rise of reporting <ul><li>Venice (16th century): gazettes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>see Allan, 1999/2004/2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Content: military/political/trade events </li></ul><ul><li>Bookshops and coffee houses (17 th century, increased literacy </li></ul><ul><li>New formats emerge: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[Which] ‘ brought sex and scandal, fantasy, sensationalism, bawdiness, violence and prophecy to their readers: monstrous births, dragons, mermaids and most horrible murders; but they also brought items of news ’ . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(Craven, 1992: 3) </li></ul>
    10. 10. Popular press? <ul><li>Emergence of ‘ non-partisan ’ (supposedly neutral) reporting of issues in the ‘ public interest ’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ pauper press ’ (UK) & ‘ penny press ’ (US) in 19 th century (see Allan, 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>Pauper press actively campaigned for social change </li></ul>
    11. 11. TABLOID Vs BROADSHEET <ul><li>Pauper press Vs Traditional press </li></ul><ul><li>Working class Vs Educated elite </li></ul><ul><li>1-2 pence Vs 6-7 pence </li></ul><ul><li>Human interest Vs Analytical </li></ul><ul><li>Revolutionary Vs Respectable </li></ul><ul><li>Controversial Vs Critical </li></ul>
    12. 12. What are news values? <ul><li>Series of unwritten ground rules </li></ul><ul><li>“ News values are meant to be the distillation of what an identified audience is interested in reading or watching ” (Richardson, 2007: 91) </li></ul>
    13. 14. Galtung and Ruge (1965) <ul><li>Eight principles of </li></ul><ul><li>news selection </li></ul><ul><li>(F1) Frequency </li></ul><ul><li>The temporal unfolding </li></ul><ul><li>of an event has to </li></ul><ul><li>correspond with the </li></ul><ul><li>needs of the news media. </li></ul><ul><li>Daily news focuses on </li></ul><ul><li>events rather than </li></ul><ul><li>longer trends. </li></ul>
    14. 15. <ul><li>(F2) Threshold </li></ul><ul><li>The bigger the event, the more violent the murder, the greater the casualties/fatalities in an accident: the more newsworthy it will be. </li></ul>
    15. 16. <ul><li>(F3) Lack of ambiguity </li></ul><ul><li>The clearer the meaning of an </li></ul><ul><li>event, the easier it can be </li></ul><ul><li>understood </li></ul><ul><li>(F4) Meaningfulness </li></ul><ul><li>Has to be of significance, or be </li></ul><ul><li>meaningful, within the given </li></ul><ul><li>cultural environment. </li></ul>
    16. 17. <ul><li>(F5) Predictability </li></ul><ul><li>“ … this creates a mental matrix </li></ul><ul><li>for easy reception ” (Galtung and </li></ul><ul><li>Ruge, 1981: 55); or much of the </li></ul><ul><li>news is the delivery of routine </li></ul><ul><li>information. </li></ul><ul><li>(F6) Un predictability </li></ul><ul><li>Unexpected or rare </li></ul><ul><li>events are inherently </li></ul><ul><li>newsworthy </li></ul>
    17. 18. <ul><li>F7) Continuing news </li></ul><ul><li>If something is already </li></ul><ul><li>newsworthy, it will continue </li></ul><ul><li>to be so: even if its impact </li></ul><ul><li>decreases. </li></ul><ul><li>(F8) Compositional value </li></ul><ul><li>A balance of domestic, </li></ul><ul><li>international, celebrity and </li></ul><ul><li>sports news is required. </li></ul>
    18. 19. Cultural factors in news selection <ul><li>(F9) “ Elite nations ” are more newsworthy </li></ul><ul><li>Economic power (i.e. Western Europe, USA). Accusations of cultural “ Eurocentrism ” and a corresponding “ Orientalism ” (see E. W. Said) </li></ul><ul><li>(F10) “ Elite people ” are more newsworthy </li></ul><ul><li>The political and financial elite; the “ celebrities ” </li></ul>
    19. 20. <ul><li>(F11) News should be presentable in terms of the personal </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on the “ ordinary ” person in exceptional circumstances </li></ul><ul><li>(F12) Negativity </li></ul><ul><li>Negative news is seen as unambiguous. </li></ul>
    20. 21. The Daily Star ’ s front page: 21 September2010
    21. 22. The Independent ’ s front page: 21 September 2010
    22. 25. In summary… <ul><li>The more criteria an event satisfies from the list of news values, the more likely it will be selected to be news. </li></ul><ul><li>Once an event is selected, the factors which made it newsworthy will be accentuated (or distorted) </li></ul><ul><li>The process of selection and accentuation will occur at all stages, from the event through to the readers. </li></ul>
    23. 26. Problems with Galtung and Ruge? <ul><li>Very useful for identifying the formal elements within the construction of news… </li></ul><ul><li>But what about the ideology behind the selection? How is news ‘ framed ’ ? </li></ul><ul><li>Are news values always aligned around daily news stories or only major events? </li></ul><ul><li>Drawn from international news: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Applicable to domestic news? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Applicable to different formats? </li></ul></ul>
    24. 27. Problems with Galtung and Ruge? <ul><li>‘ News values appear as a set of neutral, routine practices: but we need, also, to see formal news values as an ideological structure – to examine these rules as the formalisation and operationalisation of an ideology of news ’ </li></ul><ul><li>(Hall, 1973: 182) </li></ul>
    25. 28. ‘ News Frames’ <ul><li>Refers to the ways in which articles shape readers understandings of news events depending on how the intro/headline to a story and the conclusion are framed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>See Price, Tewksbury, Powers (1997) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Valkenburg, Semetko, & de Vreese (1999) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Article by de V r eese on SunSpace </li></ul></ul>
    26. 29. Harcup and O ’ Neil (2001) Galtung & Ruge Revisited <ul><li>Re-tested news values – studied 3 British daily newspapers </li></ul><ul><li>Concluded that “ Galtung and Ruge ignored day-to-day coverage of lesser, domestic and bread-and-butter news ” (2001: 276) </li></ul>
    27. 30. Harcup and O'Neill (1-3) <ul><li>(1) The POWER elite </li></ul><ul><li>Stories concerning ‘ powerful individuals, organisations or institutions ’ (2001: 278). </li></ul><ul><li>(2) Celebrity </li></ul><ul><li>Stories concerning the already </li></ul><ul><li>famous </li></ul><ul><li>(3) Entertainment </li></ul><ul><li>Sex, show business, human interest, </li></ul><ul><li>animals, humorous stories or photos. </li></ul>
    28. 31. Harcup and O'Neill (4-7) <ul><li>(4) Surprise </li></ul><ul><li>Contrast (formerly Unpredictability) </li></ul><ul><li>(5) Bad news </li></ul><ul><li>Negative overtones </li></ul><ul><li>(6) Good news </li></ul><ul><li>Positive overtones </li></ul><ul><li>(7) Magnitude </li></ul><ul><li>Significant numbers of people or large impact (formerly Threshold) </li></ul>
    29. 32. Harcup and O'Neill (8-10) <ul><li>(8) Relevance </li></ul><ul><li>… to readership (incorporates Meaningfulness and reference to Elite Nations) </li></ul><ul><li>(9) Follow-up </li></ul><ul><li>Stories about subjects already in the news </li></ul><ul><li>(10) Newspaper agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Stories that fit the organisation ’ s agenda (incorporates Continuing news and Compositional value) </li></ul>
    30. 33. Harcup and O ’ Neil (2001) <ul><li>1 The POWER elite Stories concerning ‘ powerful individuals, organisations or institutions ’ (p 278). This makes a distinction between world or business leaders and reality TV contestants etc. </li></ul><ul><li>  2 Celebrity Stories concerning the already famous </li></ul><ul><li>3 Entertainment Includes stories about sex, show business, human interest, humorous stories or photos. </li></ul><ul><li>4 Surprise Stories with an element of surprise and/or contrast (formerly Unexpectedness) </li></ul><ul><li>5 Bad news Negative overtones – conflict, tragedy, etc  </li></ul><ul><li>6 Good news Positive overtones – rescue, miracle cures, etc </li></ul><ul><li>7 Magnitude Stories with significant numbers of people or large impact (formerly Threshold) </li></ul><ul><li>  8 Relevance Issues perceived to be relevant to the readership (incorporates Meaningfulness and reference to Elite Nations). Would now include places like Magaluf, Ibiza and Ayia Napa, which might be relevant to certain readerships. </li></ul><ul><li>9 Follow-up Stories about subjects already in the news </li></ul><ul><li>10 Newspaper agenda Stories that fit the organisation ’ s agenda (incorporates Continuing news and Compositional value) </li></ul>
    31. 34. Harcup and O ’ Neill summary <ul><li>Updated G & R study </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced news values from 12 to 10 </li></ul><ul><li>More contemporary and relevant </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Celebrity and Entertainment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Perhaps a more reliable and trustworthy methodology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Choice of newspapers </li></ul></ul>
    32. 35. Harcup and O ’ Neill summary <ul><li>Updated G & R study </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced news values from 12 to 10 </li></ul><ul><li>More contemporary and relevant </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Celebrity and Entertainment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Perhaps a more reliable and trustworthy methodology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Choice of newspapers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In your essay, choose which set of news values to apply (it would be good to analyse both or at least mention ‘ the other one ’ ). </li></ul><ul><li>State the reasons behind looking at one over the other </li></ul><ul><li>Critique them (WHAT DON ’ T THEY TELL US etc)... </li></ul>
    33. 36. Conclusion <ul><li>Range of historical factors impacting on professional journalistic practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Factors reveal the often unspoken, unconscious (ideological) mechanics of news room selection </li></ul><ul><li>News Values are limited analytical and critical tools which should allow us to get behind the question of ‘ what is news ’ without always explaining HOW they are reported </li></ul>
    34. 37. And finally…
    35. 38. Bibliography <ul><li>Anderson Dana, C., 1882, New York Sun , in Allan, S. 1999 News Culture , Buckingham: Open University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Allan, S., 2004, News Culture , Buckingham: Open University Press . </li></ul><ul><li>Craven, L., 1992, ‘ The early newspaper press in England ’ , in D. Giffiths (ed.) The Encylopedia of the British Press , London: Macmillan. </li></ul><ul><li>Galtung, J., and Ruge, M., 1981, ‘ Structuring and selecting news ’ in Cohen, S., & Young, J. (eds.), The Manufacture of News: Social problems, deviance and the mass media : Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. </li></ul><ul><li>Hall, S., 1973, ‘ The determination of news photographs ’ in Cohen, S., & Young, J. (eds), The Manufacture of News . London: Constable, pp. 181 & 182. </li></ul><ul><li>Harcup, T. and O ’ Neill, D. (2001) “ What is news? Galtung and Ruge revisited ” , Journalism Studies 2: 261-280. </li></ul><ul><li>Richardson, J (2007) Analysing Newspapers. London: Palgrave McMillan </li></ul>

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