Definitions of News

News is a "Scoop": Great news organizations are driven by endless curiosity and dogged reporting. Any time a reporter finds out something before everyone else, that’s a “scoop” and that newness in and of itself is sometimes enough to make information newsworthy, whether the scoop is information that alerts, diverts or connects us. The word, “EXCLUSIVE” gets slapped on a story when the news organization thinks they have a story no one else has.

News is what an editor thinks is news: News is sometimes defined by the person in charge of the newsroom. With all those stories to choose from every day, someone has to choose what gets priority and what does not. Ask for student examples of stories they thought were buried that should have gotten more coverage

News is what's on society's mind: For many, a majority of the news that we consume comes from our friends and Social Media. We also many times get news through finding out what's "trending: on Facebook and Twitter.

News is what powerful people don't want you to know: We've many times been confronted with information about public officials doing something that wasn't on the up and up, and when this happens, its the job of Journalists to help expose it. Remember former Illinois US Representative Aaron Schock?


Three Factors Determine what becomes news:

  • Universal News Drivers

  • Editorial Judgement

  • Audience Judgement

Let's look at each individually on the following pages.