How do you define news? The News Manual offers explanations and links to other sources of opinion. Some are reasonable, some are cynical, and some are just plain witty. Here are some ways to define news:
Content analysis of news stories
For example, one study examined the impact of police brutality and deadly force on newspaper headlines. Researchers identified several important factors that influence news story placement, including the use of attribution of responsibility and popularity. While some news values do have a significant influence on headline placement, popularity was the most influential factor. The study also found that popularity moderated the relationships between some news values and story prominence. Therefore, it is possible that the force of audience influence may be stronger than journalistic standards and ethics.
In the study of text, content analysis is a research method that determines the presence of words, themes, and concepts in a text. The analysis also examines the relationship between words. Researchers can use content analysis to understand how language is used in a news story and make inferences about the writer, audience, and culture. While there are several methods of content analysis, these three are the most common. If you’re considering this method to evaluate the impact of news articles on public opinion, here are some tips to get you started:
Influences on news selection
There are several debates regarding the influence of different factors on news selection. Some scholars believe that the events themselves are the biggest determinant of newsworthiness, while others argue that the behaviour of journalists and organisational arrangements influence news selection more than the events themselves. In general, both models agree on the importance of objective and subjective criteria for news selection, but differ in how they are conceptualised. The following discussion outlines two important theories on news selection: subject-oriented and object-oriented approaches.
First, there is the question of who decides which news is interesting. Many researchers believe that this decision is largely based on a journalist’s political and ethical views. In a media environment, though, competition is so intense that journalists can deviate from these ethical principles. In either case, news selection is influenced by the context in which a story is made. Secondly, the content’s audience can influence the selection process.
Influences on news outputs
Publishers, broadcasters, and consumers of news can all have an impact on public opinion. The Internet alone contains thousands of sources ranging from neutral to partisan. These sources may bias the news they publish in several ways, including selection, emphasis, and headlines. Some of these sources may be deliberately fake news and deceptive, aimed at influencing public opinion. Regardless of their intentions, media companies play an important role in shaping public opinion.
Research suggests that the media environment and audience structure can influence how people think and behave. For instance, newspaper vs. television environments influence news consumption and interest in politics. To test this hypothesis, Loveless (2015) used a study conducted across 25 countries, which exemplifies the typical theoretical setup. Loveless’s study explains media consumption at the individual level, using the 2009 European Election Study as a case study.
Research on news values
Research on news values has been a thriving and growing area of inquiry in journalism. While news values have many different definitions, these definitions are often based on the same core principles. Many news organisations have developed their own approaches to setting news agendas, but most still refer to Galtung and Ruge’s criteria. Although some academics have revised and updated these criteria, journalists generally use other lists, which are simpler and less analytical.
News values are both material and cognitive, and relate to stories and events. Composition news values concern how well a news story fits into a larger context, while co-option aims to make sure a balanced spread of stories is maintained. Co-option news values focus on how stories are incorporated into the media discourse. Both are important, but only one is deemed to be a good news value. For example, the news value of a news story should not be used to create a new story.