What Makes a Story Newsworthy?


What makes a story newsworthy? According to some media critics, journalists determine the focus of a story and which facts they emphasize. Others argue that journalists follow a set of subjective judgment guidelines to determine the newsworthiness of a story. The Chicago Tribune publisher, Jack Fuller, has argued that “media deliver news based on market research and editorial judgment.”

Factors that determine newsworthiness

What makes a story newsworthy? The answer is related to its importance, uniqueness, and timeliness. While a peaceful protest involving hundreds of people might not be newsworthy, a 52-car pileup on the pike is a far more noteworthy story. Newsworthiness is also determined by its impact on a large number of people. A story can be newsworthy when it has a large number of people affected, such as when an outbreak of Ebola occurs.

Impact of an event

Whether the news is reported locally or globally, the impact of an event on media coverage depends on its context and the number of affected people. While peaceful protests on the street may be newsworthy, a 52-car pileup on the pike may be more compelling because it involves more people. A number of other factors impact newsworthiness. If the event is a public safety or human rights issue, it may be newsworthy because the number of people affected is greater than fifty, while an alleged outbreak of Ebola might attract more viewers.


In a time of corporate acquisition, one journalist in New York noticed a disturbing trend. He surveyed sports magazines and noticed staff cuts and temporary hiatuses. His curiosity led him to investigate the effects of corporate acquisitions on local newspapers. In the process, he discovered a powerful tool for analyzing local news, computational models of locality in news. Read on to learn more about this innovative tool. In addition, you’ll discover more about the role of local media in our daily lives.


This study sought to explore the ways in which violence against women is reported in the media. By analyzing news reports, researchers found that they were often framed in terms of the type of violence that was reported, a primary news frame that was episodic or thematic. Most episodes were episodic, while thematic news reports focused on the issue of violence against women. While the most common thematic frames involved discussions of government responses to the violence, the analysis also included information about the sources that informed the stories.


Unlike other forms of news, scandal in the media tends to increase and decrease in duration as a result of several factors. Presidents with favorable ratings have a shorter duration of scandal coverage than those with negative ratings. Scandal coverage also depends on “exogenous” news events, such as wars, natural disasters, mass shootings, and plane crashes. These events can suffocate a scandal before it can reach a climax.