The World According to Americans
“Journalists speak of „the news‟ as if events select themselves…[T]hey speak as if which is the most significant news story, and which news angles are most salient, are divinely inspired. Yet of the millions of events which occur every day in the world, only a tiny proportion ever become visible as „potential news stories‟, and of this proportion, only a small fraction are actually produced as the day‟s news in the news media” (Hall, 1981: 234). JP News Map
Definition of news remains elusive. Specific definitions are routinely contested.
Approaches to define news range from the structural to
the critical perspectives.
There are scholars who say it is; made or manufactured (Tuchman, Cohen and Young) Those who say it is discovered (Schudson) Those who say it is decided upon (Gans) Those who say it is selected (Epstein) Aim here is to engage with the concept especially as it relates to international journalism
No defn; focus now on the fundamental principles underlining news- news values and news criteria as constitutive of news.
Background Van Ginneken argues that it would be useful not to ask what is news but rather what is not news.
Draws attention to argument of selective articulation of
what is noteworthy and what is inconspicuous in the world around us.
We live in a „common sense world‟ which is taken for granted-it is the disruption of this world that becomes news.
News media however brings to our attention some features but not others depending on stability or disruption of this „common sense world‟ Walter Lippman likened the media to a searchlightilluminates some parts but not others
For instance, some people/tragedies are more important
to the global media than others
Even with victims of a tragedy, we empathise with some but not others. This reveals the fact that news is not value neutral; it is ideologically constructed.