What Is News?

Billions around the world read newspapers, listen to radio, watch television, and surf the Internet to find out the latest news, but few ever ask themselves exactly what it takes for it fit into such a category. After all, if it is there, it must be “news.” Since it is seldom of a pleasant nature, then that must be one of its aspects. Or is it? Consider the following scenarios.

A nine-year-old girl fell from a tree at 33 Ward Lane, located in a small Pennsylvania town, yesterday, sustaining a fractured arm. Alarmed, her family members and friends immediately rushed to her side or called to learn of her condition. This may not have caused as much as a pause in the frenetic pace of New York’s stock exchange, but it was news.

When Air France and British Airways respectively inaugurated supersonic Concorde service to Washington and New York on November 22, 1977, completing their flights in little more than three hours, it was considered an aviation milestone and piqued the interest of people as far away as Australia. This was also news.

Because there is little similarity between these two events, a precise definition of the concept is not necessarily easy to determine, but, according to Thomas Elliot Berry in his book, Journalism in America (Hastings House, Publishers, 1976, p. 26), it can vary in three ways: “From one paper to another; from one time to another; and from one locality to another.”

This first concept can be illustrated by comparing a tabloid with a full-size daily newspaper. The former, again according to Berry (p. 26), would most likely feature stories “such as accounts of family squabbles, gossip about semi-famous personalities, or maudlin descriptions of obscure people and their personal troubles,” whereas full-size papers would offer features about finance, the stock exchange, economics, and scientific developments.

“The concept of news (also) varies among (types of) media,” wrote John Hohenberg in his book, The Professional Journalist (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1978, p. 87). “To morning newspapers, it is what happened yesterday. To afternoon newspapers, it is what happened today. To news magazines, it is what happened last week. To wire services, radio, and television, it is what happened a moment ago.”

News can thus vary according to media type and frequency of its publication or broadcast.

It also varies according to time-that is say, what can be considered “newsworthy” depends upon what has occurred as a whole and therefore the amount of space remaining to use for lesser developments. A traffic accident during August, when a large percentage of workers are on vacation, for example, may be considered important, but there was precious little space remaining for this type of occurrence the day following the Boston marathon bombing. Even an apartment fire near the event that was not directly caused by it would not even have been considered for print.

News therefore depends upon what else transpired on a given day.

It also hinges upon perspective, which itself varies according to the locality of its occurrence. A story about the loss of a small town’s only Laundromat, for instance, would most likely be considered important to its citizens, but if the same event took place in a city the size of Chicago, it would probably be no more important than the nine-year-old who fell from the tree. How would those in Moscow, 10,000 miles away, view this event, even if the story were translated into Russian?

News, according to Julian Harriss, Kelley Leiter, and Stanley Johnson in their book, The Complete Reporter, (MacMillan Publishing Company, 1977, p. 22), can be considered “that which has the greatest interest for the greatest number of people.”

Although its definition, based upon these divergent parameters, can vary widely, it nevertheless consists of five common denominators that serve as the guidelines editors employ when they consider an item for publication.

The first of these is that it must interest readers by either directly concerning them or otherwise providing an element of interest.

“The most common stories that concern readers directly are accounts of government actions, advances in science, and economic analyses,” wrote Berry in Journalism in America (p. 27). “Interesting stories run a wide gamut, from county fairs and changes in clothing fashions to freak auto accidents, or anything the editor believes newsworthy.”

The second aspect of a news story is truth: it must report the facts that have been gathered and only the facts, but equally must remain objective, without emotion, opinion, or thought. These aspects are considerable unalterable. That several media forms may simultaneously report on the same event serves as a check-and-balance and insures that reporters adhere to these ideals.

Thirdly, it must be recent, which depends, of course, upon the type of publication and its frequency of release. A wire service, as previously mentioned, considers news that which occurred a few moments before it carried it, while a magazine will review significant events that took place within the past week or even month. New, previously unreported material nevertheless serves as the commonality between the two.

Fourthly, stories must contain an element of proximity-that is, they must be of interest to the reader, affect the reader, and concern the reader. Women subscribing to fashion magazines, for instance, will expect fashion-related information, features, and advertising, while a person with, say, a German background will wish to keep abreast with aspects about his culture and developments in his homeland.

Proximity, however, implies a certain “closeness” to the reader.

“The local traffic accident is more newsworthy than one that tied up rush-hour traffic in the state capital 200 miles away,” noted Harriss, Leiter, and Johnson in The Complete Reporter (p. 27).

Finally, a news story should, if possible, feature an unusual angle or aspect.

“(This) brightens the newspaper page or the radio or television newscast,” wrote Berry in Journalism in America (p. 28). “Its importance is to be seen in the old saw, ‘If a dog bites a man, it’s not news; but if a man bites a dog, it is news’.”

Although there are no absolute criteria that constitute news, it depends, to a significant degree, upon what occurs on a given day and how it relates to the media form, time, and locality. After an editor has used the five general guidelines for making his determination, it becomes what a few hundred in a small town or a few billion across the globe will read or hear.


Berry, Thomas Elliott. Journalism in America. New York: Hastings House, Publishers, 1976.

Hohenberg, John. The Professional Journalist. New York: Holt, Rhinehart, and Winston, 1978.

Harriss, Julian; Leiter, Kelley; and Johnson, Stanley. The Complete Reporter. New York: MacMillan Publishing Company, Inc., 1977.

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Social Media Employment Background Checks – Know the Employers Criteria to Win Your Job Opportunity!

Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter and many other social networking websites have taken a place of a joy ride; everyone is using this social phenomenon when they need a break from their work. I believe for many in this increasingly implicit world having a chat with a cyber friend brings some meaning, if not a respite from the grind of work.Yet, I am surprised at the time that my social network friends spend on these sites-they must be spending many hours every day posting slapstick or goofy pictures, worthless links, and creepy comments about others. If only their employers knew.Actually, their employers do know. Increasingly companies are compelled to monitor the behavior of employees through social media employment background checks, who post, share regularly or they have a Barron account on the social networks.Human Resources with the help from their information technology department can data mine the social networking websites to find prospective employees. Additionally, they can function as a data source for social media employment background checks, so beware what you post. The world is watching.Employers are keen to know about your social media background and they are checking it on a seven point comprehensive criteria. The only way to survive social media employment background checks is to know how employers are going to look over your social networking profiles. This is how you can get your next job hunt success and this is how you can survive at your current employment.Seven Point Criteria for Social Media Employment Background Checks by Employers: Corporate Disparagement: Employers are looking for a person who is involved in bad mouthing about a company; they are focusing on a pattern of negative comments made by an employee for its current and past workplace and or about his/her past or current work mates.
Tendency towards Violent Behavior: In social media search, often times people are found to be expressing themselves in very violent ways and about violent acts. And employers don’t want a violent person at their workplace which can jeopardize the peaceful work environment.
The Indication of Drug Use: We certainly found examples where people talk about smoking marijuana or being involved in the drugs in a way that really isn’t appropriate like an underage person drinking. Employers are keen to know about it.
Poor Judgment: There are things like where people are talking on their Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or other sites about doing things that really show poor judgment in the way they think about stuff and that certainly is the thing employers want to avoid.
Racist or Anti Social Behavior: Unfortunately, there are people like that, that express themselves rather aggressively in the social media environment and they talk about hating other groups, hating individuals because they are part of those groups. Hating your religious or sexual orientation of some kind. Typically this is not kind of a person they want to have as their employee and that’s another social media employment background checks criterion.
Inappropriate Sexual Behavior: This is one of the areas where people sometime feel differently about one way or another. The definition of inappropriate is something that you really want to define very clearly. But if people are going way over the line, the obvious things like child pornography and other type of sexually explicit content and there is an evidence of such doing then an employer will surely use it as a social media background checks criterion to screen you out of employment.
Honesty and Integrity: And that’s what it is really all about, if people are talking about ripping off the company or stealing a hotdog from a street vendor when he was not looking, or something like that and bragging about it in their social media site, this is probably not someone who is going to get hired by an employer.These seven points are the basic criterion for the social media employment background checks that employers are now considering for their hiring process and they are certainly help them to screen out their best employee in such a scarce employment situation.But one thing that has to be mentioned about social media employment background checks is that they also possess a positive element. A person who is involved in charity, professional activities, and have recommendations on their social media profiles can attract an employer to hire you as their next prospective employee.

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Abs Diet for Health and Fitness

The most important question that comes to everyone’s mind is why so many gyms, health centers, health programs etc have popped up all over the place? The main reason is that people want to look and feel good. Particularly looks play an important role though health is not any less. Nobody wants to carry an extra layer of fat around the waistline and a firm flat belly is everyone’s dream.To succeed in getting a flatter stomach, diet is essential. Not only the success of flatter stomach depends on diet but also a good abs diet lowers cholesterol and decreases blood pressure. The food listed below should be incorporated in your diet plan:• Almonds and other nuts, this will increase HDL• Green vegetables like Spinach and broccoli• Beans and other legumes, including chickpeas, kidney beans and lima beans• Dairy products like yoghurt, cheese, low-fat milk• Eggs• Turkey, chicken, fish and lean meat• Whole grain breads• Berries, especially raspberriesThe above mentioned food should be part of diet for good health and good looks. The most important thing is that you should never feel hungry and provide your body with daily nutritional requirements. The above mentioned food will provide the required amount of protein, carbohydrates and fat. Taken in moderate but adequate quantities they will never let you feel hungry. Good diet coupled with abs exercise will give you the flat stomach.There are many popular weight loss programs that discourage taking carbohydrate. But you should realize that if you venture into any exercise including 6 pack abs, carbohydrates should be included in your diet. It provides energy essential for your body and mind. Carbohydrate gets converted into glucose and it gets consumed during physical activity. Excess glucose gets converted into glycogen which gets stored in lever. The glycogen stored in lever gets consumed whenever it is needed. Only excess glycogen gets converted into fat. So don’t be scared of carbohydrate. Avoid carbohydrate if your doctors recommends.David Zinczenko of Men’s Health Magazine has developed an abs diet which has helped men across America get more than ripped abs. The followers of his program have improved their overall health manifold.Now something must be mentioned about dietary fat. Mike Geary, famous nutritionist, in his book, “Training & Nutrition Insider Secrets for a Lean-Body” wrote, “Don’t be Afraid of Dietary Fat! Even Some Saturated Fats are Healthy for You.”Good abs diet program coupled with abs exercise will give you the flat stomach.

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