News is one of the best know commodities in today’s world news is selective version of world events with a focus on that which is new and unusual. The concepts of news must have existed even before the beginning of the era of mass media called personal news. The news and interesting information constitute news. News may be defined as any accurate fact or idea that will interest in a large number of readers. News has certain other ingredients which helped to distinguish a news item from one which is not. Rise and fall of the prices of potatoes by itself is not news.
But a sudden spurt in prices may be set out. Thus it becomes news of wide interest. The basic news values are:- Change: It is a basic news value. If nothing happens there will be no change. But the word is not satic; every moment things are different from the proceeding moment. The bigger the change and more the people affected by this change, the more important it is from the news point of view. Human interests: Almost everything in news concerns human beings, but this particular news value is the emotional context of the news events. People generally ignore news which lacks emotional context.
Anything that appeals to everybody, not because of interests in the subject but because everybody shares human experience, has news value. According to channels point of view crime stories often have a human interest. Human interest is also involved when it depicts extraordinary persons in ordinary situations. Causes: the causes of news worthy event also make news. Every event has consequence and has its causes also. The causes of a hotel fire may be known immediately. It will make news but if it is not known all efforts to find out the causes, and possible interpretations, will make news.
Consequences: The immediate and long term consequence of an event also makes news. The more people it affects the greater is the Consequence. Fear of Consequence of an event also makes news. Thus possible consequences of a news clear war make news and all efforts to avert it and failure or success in that direction make news Consequences also serve as measure of conflict disaster and progress. The greater the consequences, the more the news value. Disaster: Be it a result of natural calamity like an earthquake or volcanic eruption or be it a man made event like Bhopal gas tragedy, it always make news.
People accept such news stories with greater interest because there is human and emotional element in them. Conflict: Actual conflicts and even the danger of conflicts make news as they tend to bring about major change. Even conflicts of smaller dimensions like group or personal conflicts resulting in crimes, strikes, also make news. Even conflicting ideas and resulting debates makeup news. Tension and surprise often associated with conflicts are also regarded as having news value. Progress: Progress is also of news value as it is the positive result of efforts made by society which improves the quality of life.
From laboratories, after years of work, emerge new, devices new inventions, new remedies. All this and its various dimensions make news. Eminence and Prominence: involvement of eminent personalities in an event adds to its news value. If an eminent person says something on a problem it will have news value while the same remarks made by an ordinary person may go unnoticed. Prominence is often built up by media. Media have a major role in bringing familiar people into prominence and then what ever they do or say, even if it does not have any other news value, get into bulletins just because of their promence.
People are interested in them because they are familiar with those people. Novelty: If a dog bites a man it is not news but if a man bites a dog it is news, this old news paper saying recognize the news value of the unusual Novelty. An event may have many or all these news value and taken together, these determine which news story is more important than the other which should be printed or broadcasted and which should be left out. There are four main factors which determine the value of news. Determinants of news value: Timeliness: Although the factor of time timeliness is not absolutely essential, yet it matters a lot.
People eagerly wait for hot and burning news. A news command value only if it has come straight from the oven and is really hot and exciting. In the highly competitive world, every medium tries to give the latest available to serve a point over the others. Proximity: The next main factor which determines the value of news is proximity. Proximity enhances the importance of news. ‘Here’ is greater in value than ‘there’. The proximity need not always be geographical. It can be even emotional. The prime concern of man is himself, and then he is interested in his neighborhood.
Traffic jam in Mumbai but may not find a place in Delhi. If the prime minister is visiting Chennai his activities will get more space in Chennai than in Chandigrah. Size: A bigger event gets prominence over smaller one. This is as it should be. The news about the death of fifty passengers traveling in a city bus will and should be considered more important than the news of say one scooterist being run over by a speeding truck. Importance: This is the most important of all determinants. But the problem is how to judge the importance of a news item. There are no hard and fast rules.
For example, the news of USA making more atom bombs is less significant for India than a hostile neighbour like Pakistan making even one atom bomb. The news plays vital role in human affairs. The importance of news has been increased greatly by the spread of education. Education sharpens one’s curiosity about event in distant lands. Most of us get good knowledge and information from the news. NEWS REPORTING Reporting is one of the most important roles in collecting news. Report is a spoken or written account of an event. Report can be defined as gathering and writing of news.
Reporters can be classified into various categories. staff reporters stringers Mofussil correspondence The job of a reporter is to gather news and write it for his organization. The basic job of a reporter remains news gathering and filing the report or copy to the news desk. Reporters can have more than once beat. Infact all the governments departments, political parties and institutions where news is expected are listed and distributed as hets among reporting staffs. To ‘report’ is a verb and reporting is implicative of a noun ‘reporters’.
The oncise Oxford English Dictionary defines a report as collection of information description or epitome or reproduction of scene or law case especially for news paper publication. Good reporting is the discovery of as possible and their selection and presentation so that they make comprehensible story the body of the report is farmed with less important and background materials. News Reporter Reporting one of the most important role in collecting news. The main duty of the reporter is news gathering and filing of the desk and the sub editors can be posted in the desk and sub editors can be posted as reporters in the bureau.
The basic necessity for becoming a good reporter is common sense and command over language. The reporter must be very careful in reporting the events without any distribution. The basic quality of the reporter is the ability to find out what news is worthy. He must keep his eyes and ears open to the events and happening around him clarity of mind and expression are equally important for a reporter clarity of mind has no meaning is the absence of clarity of expression. Types of Reporting A straight report is easy to understand and concerned with realities without any artistic addition.
Almost all the news events are reported in this style. But the problem faced by the reporters in this style is in dealing with a direct quotation. But care should take in wringing in this style instead of a practical quote it is better to sure; it must give a complete picture of the speech. This will reduce the possible distortion. The reporter must take care in avoiding the distortion of meaning. Correction must not tamper with the meaning of the segment of the speech. The reporter cannot avoid direct quotes in any of following situations. a) if it is necessary to connect the speaker and the words he used. ) If they are relevant to the news report. c) If they give facts to support a point in the report. The reports efficiency and talent is exposed in changing the dry and factional matter into an interning manner. Interpretive reporting, investigative reporting, depth reporting and human interest stories and development reporting are modern additions to journalist terminology. Previously interpretation and opinion were areas reserved for editorial columns. Now interpretation is past of a reporters duty. He not only gathers and reporters the facts but also adds explanation or interpretation wherever necessary.
Though investigative journalism was regarded as something new pre-independence India the nationalist press was full of such stories. Interpretive Reporting Though interpretation is required here and there in almost every story. There certain stories those are basically the result of interpretation of events, circumstances or various kinds of data available from different sources. Such stories are called interpretive stories. In the kind of reporting the reporter needs a strong background of the subject. He should not forget checking all sources of information before writing such a story.
It there is any doubt regarding facts it is better not to do a story than to give a wrong interpretation based on half-truths. A wrong interpretation is worse than no interpretation. This kind of reporting offers a reporter the opportunity to give his opinion in new columns. But one should avoid editorializing news stories. Attempt in the interpretative story should be to use logic and background knowledge; conscious effort should be made to keep personal bias away from the report. One can express opinion based on analysis of facts but distortion of facts to suit one’s bias, should be avoided.
An interpretive reporter should always have an open mind. He may have a hypothesis to begin with, but if the facts do not support it, he should change the line of interpretation or drop the idea. He should never try to mould facts to do his story. In the economic Times, along with the news of reshuffle in the Rajeev Gandhi ministry, the following interpretative story appeared. This is story attempts to interpret what the reshuffle means in political terms. Investigative Reporting Almost all stories need some investigation. A reporter should therefore ot hesitate to do this for it will improve the story and he cannot be taken for a ride by some smart public relation exercise. But if the investigative is on a large scale involving some major government development or big business multinational company or corporation or some prominent political party or politician or some mafia kind or other gangs involved in illegal activities and influencing government . A lot of preparation and planning required. Big investigative stories need painstaking gathering of facts over weeks or months and finally its publication may lead to litigation.
These are results of well planned efforts to uncover something wrong the system. Investigative reporter is basically an investigator who works for people and finds out what is wrong in the system. Things do not work as they should. The actors in the system do not go by the book but deviate from it affecting the whole system. The job of an investigative reporter is to find out how the system actually works and if something is wrong he brings it to the notice of the people who are the real masters in democracy.
Investigative reporting now is a major exercise involving lot of funds and many dangers. Reporters should keep looking for such stories and it they find that an investigation is possible and will be worthwhile to invest the man power required, they should speak to the editor. Normally the editor will ask to prepare a background note and possibilities regarding risks and awards and investment, the editor may think it worthwhile and many discuss with the owner and find out if he is prepared to take the risk. If there is no at this stage the project will not takeoff.
Then, to bridge gaps in information or to get the other side of the story, interviews will be planned. It may come out at the end of series of a misinterpretation of facts. It may not be possible too get enough evidence to justify the story or the owner of channel may think that it might be too dangerous for him and may not like to take the legal or business risk. In these circumstances a reporter may have to drop the half –done job. An investigate report is more like judge and not like a public prosecutor.
He should access the evidence he gets with an open mind. He is not to tilt the evidence in favor of the hypothesis on the basis of which the investigation has been started. Investigative reporter must be fair and there for he should not shut his eyes or ears to any thing which does not suit the line of investigation. He must be keep his minds open from the stage of conception of the investigative story till it is published. At any state he should welcome any information or evidence for a fire evaluation.
A biased investigative reporter will after all become what is called a ‘yellow journalist’. 3. Depth Reporting Depth reporting is one in which the reporter goes deep into the subject. It involves some investigation and necessary interpretation. This term has become popular after Neale Copple published his book Depth Reporting in 1964. Some people also called it “In depth reporting”. All these terms mean that the reporter tries to cover call aspects of the story and investigates as deed as possible and interprets facts thus gathered so that the common reader understands them.
In short the effort of the modern reporter is to go deep into the subject and to communicate the information as effectively as possible. For this be interprets the news for the benefit of the lay reader, he gives background to a situation and when ever possible plays up a human interest angle to improve readability. In every story the reporter should try to use these tools if possible. A good future similarly should have depth and human interest.