Watching prime time news is a part of my daily activity, and while there are certain channels I do prefer, I try to keep my news sources expansive, because if there is one thing I have learnt this year it is that you can never have too many sources of information. Whether it be following @HuffPostUK on Twitter or reading Elle Magazine on Facebook, watching TMZ Live for my daily gossip surge or listening to Channel Ten’s The Project in the background while eating dinner, each news source has a different take on what makes news, and consequently they each present the news in divergent formats.
Newsworthy stories that will generate a buzz amongst viewers, readers and the wider audience will often take precedence in global news reporting. As Lee-Wright notes global news reporters are “driven principally by budgetary constraints, as well as a desperate fear of challenging the viewer with material they may find dull”. (Lee-Wright, 2012). This may mean that stories with real-life effects take a back-seat while the headline draws one’s attention to a less hard-hitting story at home. Take for example all the publicity and coverage of the spread of the Ebola virus. Prior to its potential spread to Australia and nearing countries, national concerns surrounding the Ebola health scare were next to none. Despite the virus causing significant havoc in Africa and its surrounds, its newsworthy status was minute, with royal baby number two taking rank in the daily headlines. This just proves that news aims to address issues that will get the most reaction. While it might not be happening right here right now, that does not mean that the issue at hand is not newsworthy.
Keeping an open mind while approaching the issue of global news is therefore paramount, as what might not seem like news to you may be news to someone else.
– Lee-Wright, P., 2011, ‘News Values: An assessment of News Priorities through a Comparative Analysis of Arab Spring Anniversary Coverage’, JOMEC Journal, vol. 4, pp. 186-205.