What determines newsworthiness?

Most good news stories have at least two to three of the following qualities. To ensure strong news coverage of a particular announcement, work with your client to identify and develop the following components.

When drafting press releases, pitches, or developing potential media angles, make sure these elements come through clearly.

  • Timeliness: stories grow old quickly. News is like a baked good; it must be fresh.
  • Impact or consequence: why does this matter? How will this information change lives? Does it pass the “so what?” test? 
  • Proximity: a toxic waste dump in Russia is mildly interesting. A toxic waste dump in your neighborhood is major news. How is this news relevant to the reporter/publication's specific audience?
  • Novelty or rarity: what is unusual? Consider the difference between “dog bites man” vs. “man bites dog.”
  • Conflict: All good stories need conflict and the promise of resolution.
  • Prominence: There’s a difference between Bob from Nebraska and the U.S. President doing the exact same action.
  • Human interest: people identify with people. Keep in mind that these stories are generally harder to land if this is your only newsworthy element.