Is your story newsworthy?

In the world of news, stories are written and published or aired daily. Many stories are being submitted by reporters and pitched by public relations specialists in hopes of landing a coveted space in print, broadcast or online news platforms. But not all articles get published or aired; sometimes, this is due to space limitation or, more often, because the stories themselves lack this one crucial factor: newsworthiness.

When deciding what to publish, editors look at different elements to establish the news value of a story. Timeliness is one element, which basically means that your story should contain current and new information. Another is impact or consequence - which entails asking yourself, “Will this story matter to the readers?” - and proximity, which refers to your story’s appeal to the local communities. Other elements include conflict and controversy, or news stories highlighting problems or differences; novelty or rarity (is it unusual?); human interest, which involves the experiences of real people; and prominence, which focuses mostly on famous people.

To measure up, a story must contain at least two or three of these elements. For communications specialists, it is vital that the stories they are pitching are newsworthy according to the benchmarks recognized by journalists and editors. Highly skilled, they are adept at knowing whether or not an article would satisfy the standards or not. In establishing the newsworthiness of their stories, organizations have been partnering with communications experts as part of their broader corporate messaging strategy. It is a collaboration geared towards increasing visibility in media channels and, subsequently, building stronger and long-lasting relations with the public.