Most Important Features of Newsworthy

Not everything makes it onto the news – an event or story is reported if it is newsworthy. As such, networks often have strict news selection criteria.

Not every event makes news, there are certain features an event must possess before before it can be qualified as news.

Newsworthiness is the criteria that helps media professionals select and present news content based on news value.

The more news value a subject has, the more coverage it gains over a medium, for example, a newspaper or news program. In turn, this can help the medium attract more readers or television viewers.

Journalists weigh news values when determining whether or not to cover an event or announcement. Here are the values that we consider when developing an outreach strategy.

News denotatively means new information of public interest. News is any occurrence that has significance to the public, and is reported.

Some of these features are follows:

Determinants of News Selection: Most Important of Features Newsworthy

The most important features of newsworthy

  • Prominence

This is the state of being widely known, eminent and relatively important. Prominence is a significant factor in news selection, as stories involving famous or influential people are more likely to attract the attention of the audience. it does not necessarily mean someone with worldwide fame, for instance, the mayor of a town is not famous worldwide, but is prominent locally, which means any stories involving him would be newsworthy.

  • Timeliness

The timeliness of news refers to how recent and relevant the information is to the current events and ongoing developments. In other words, it is how quickly and accurately the news is reported after an event occurs.

Journalists and news organizations strive report news as soon as possible to ensure the public has access to up-to-date information. The public loses interest quickly, and past events become stale when there is always fresh news somewhere.


Arguably the most important features that qualified event as news is whether or not the news item being communicated impacts a news outlet’s audience. For example, let’s imagine researchers have found a cost-effective solution to a common problem. The more people affected, the greater the news interest.


News that happens in an immediate vicinity of the audience tends to be more newsworthy.

Note that proximity does not mean geographical distance only. Stories from countries that have a particular bond or similarity have the same effect. Proximity has to do with how close an event is to the news audience.

  • Rarity

Rarity is also news value that determines the importance of a story is also known as ‘impact’. Stories that are unusual and bizarre tend to be newsworthy. A natural disaster that is unprecedented in its scale or impact would be considered as rare. Events that are unexpected are more newsworthy than routine, usurping events.

Human Interest

While many of the above news values are interwoven, human interest stories often stand apart. These stories speak to our shared experience, emphasizing uniquely human elements such as personal growth or an unexpected act of kindness. Human interest elements can add news value to other stories that might appear to be lacking in the other values.


Stories often involve some kind of conflict. By definition, these stories are almost always controversial to some degree. Fortunately, university staff and faculty are generally perceived as impartial experts. They can help mitigate potential reputational risk with these stories while also increasing the odds of generating coverage.


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