What is News?

In class on April 20th, we discussed the ins and outs of news. I think we can all safely agree that news is always new. It encompasses information that is beneficial or important and that can/should be shared with the general public.

In this state of mind, is where news releases are born. News releases, as previously discussed, are written in hopes of being published in a mass media capacity. Reporters rely heavily on news releases. They process info gathered through news releases and find/publish the most ‘newsworthy’ release. News releases rarely if ever will have the actual writers name on it; its more likely to appear under the reporters name. To be completely honest, when I first heard this, I was a bit irritated. I mean, did the report find the scope? Did the reporter do the drafting? Does the reporter have the emotional connection with the release like the actual write does? No. However, does the reporter have more leverage? Yes. Is the reporter putting themselves in a position that could cause controversy? Yes. Is the reporter doing a good thing here? Yes. It actually all does make sense when you think about it.

Commonly referred to as the 5 W’s & H, these 6 little words are the backbone to every article a journalist will write:
-Who
-What
-Where
-When
-Why
-How
If these questions are not answered in an article, you have my permission to call the article less than satisfactory.

In addition to news releases, PR professionals spend a great deal of time ‘pitching.’ This simply means trying to convince a journalist that what you have is what their readers want. A tip our professor recommends if you know you want something in a paper—get to know what kinds of things that specific journalist covers. Meet them where they are. It’ll get you noticed, and help you gain credibility if you’re well informed of the subjects they work with.

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