ZeePedia
Radio News Reporting and Production

MEASURING THE IMPORTANCE OF NEWS:Intensity of an Event, NEWS STORY TYPES

<< NEWS VALUES AND ELEMENTS OF NEWS:MISCELLANEOUS NEWS VALUES
TYPES OF NEWS STORIES II:SIMPLE TYPES, ILLNESS, DEATH >>
img
Radio News, Reporting and Production ­ MCM515
VU
LESSON 07
MEASURING THE IMPORTANCE OF NEWS
A constant and specialized kind of training enables reporters to draw a line of demarcation between an
ordinary event and a newsworthy event. They come to know what incident, statement, portion of speech, or
an activity of a renowned actor is to be treated as news and given space in the news bulletin.
After having enough material that is supposed to be a part of the coming news bulletin, a difficult yet the
most important and sensitive task lays ahead is giving a specific order to the news items the typist has to
follow while typing the news items and the news caster has to follow while reading out the bulletin.
Is it "first come, first serve" rule that applies here or "hit-and-trial method?" No, not at all. If not, then how
to measure the importance of news story so that its turn in the sequence of a news bulletin can be
determined? The order to be followed while placing the news stories in a bulletin is based upon a pretty
scientific and systematic manner.
"Generally, the most important, significant, and interesting, is offered to the listener or reader."
The following are the ingredients which make a story important and significant and according to its
importance and significance its order in a news bulletin can be evaluated and determined.
Intensity of an Event
Something intense means something extreme, something powerful, something deep, and something very
significant. Intensity involves power, force, and strength. When we evaluate a news story in terms of
intensity, we as a matter of fact, make an attempt to gauge its importance in terms of its strength and
consequently its affect on the society it is meant for. Intensity may be local, regional or global.
For instance, Pakistan wins world cup in cricket first time in the history of her participation in the
competition. It involves extreme level of interest of Pakistani nation in the victory and the victory possesses
great amount of intensity for Pakistanis. The news in Pakistani channels' bulletins will be given first place.
Extensity of an Event
Something extensive means happening of any event or accident on a larger level involving a great number
of people.
For instance, on 8th April 2005, a horrible earthquake left thousands and thousands of people in Azad
Kashmir and northern areas of Pakistan, with unforgettable destruction and devastation. It was a titanic
tragedy which affected people on extensive level. To cover this natural calamity and its affects on people,
reporters from media throughout the world rushed to the affected areas. This was a kind of event that
involved people on extensive scale coupled with mammoth intensity. That is why its news and coverage was
given the highest importance and the news story stayed at first place in the bulletins for weeks.
"The importance of a story is determined by its intensity (the amount of disruption) and by its extensity (the
number of people affected)."
Recentness of an Event
As it is said, time and again, that recentness or timeliness is the very feature of a news story. Any event or a
statement that is stale and old can be anything but can not be news. Out dated stories may be taken as
reference but these stories cannot be termed as news items. News is something that is new, as to some
journalists, news is the plural of new. Only the event or happening that carries all or some of the news
values we have gone through, and possesses the feature of newness as well, deserves to be called news. That
is why the most recent happening is treated as breaking news.
23
img
Radio News, Reporting and Production ­ MCM515
VU
Proximity
Proximity, as discussed above, is the nearness of an event. Local events are more important than foreign.
An accident or crime or ceremony is more important in the city where it occurs. The same kind of
happening occurred in any other city or country may be reported as news but in the bulletin it will be placed
in the tail end.
Consequence of an Event
In his budget speech, the finance minister announces a drastic cut in the tariff of electricity, or a fifty
percent raise is announced in the salaries of government servants. These changes will not come into effect
immediate after the minister concludes his speech, rather, from the 1st of the 1st month of the coming
monetary year that may start after a fortnight or twenty days. But since the consequences of the
announcement are supposed to affect people in future, the news will be given a prominent placing in the
news bulletin.
Variety of news values
It is a matter of simple understanding that more the news values in an event, the greater the importance of
that news will be.
For instance, the murder of a person is news, but the murder of any important figure in a society is even
bigger news. Earthquake anywhere in world is news, but earthquake in Pakistan is bigger news. If it is so
intensive that it kills thousands and thousands of people forcing other thousands of people to shift and
confine to tents, it becomes even the biggest news for almost all the news channels in the world.
Factors of Magnitude Simplified
Following is the list of the factors of magnitude of a news item:
The extent of the disruption of the status quo (prevailing situation) i.e., INTENSITY.
The number of the people affected by the event; i.e., EXTENSITY.
The nearness of an event; i.e., PROXIMITY.
The recentness of an event; i.e., TIMELINESS.
The extent of the results flow from the event, i.e., CONSEQUENCE.
The variety of the news values in an event; i.e., VARIETY.
NEWS STORY TYPES
Broadly speaking all news items can be categorized under four heads. They are:
1)
General types
2)
Simple types
3)
Complex types
4)
Special types
We will look into all these types in detail while studying reporting but it is important enough to have an
introduction to these types.
GENERAL TYPES
The following are the news stories which are treated as general types.
Personals
Briefs
Meetings
Events
Speeches
Publications
Interviews
24
img
Radio News, Reporting and Production ­ MCM515
VU
Personals
These are the news stories about important persons of a society about whom people want to know. These
figures could be from politics, showbiz, sports, or from any walk of life.
The near and dear ones of these celebrities also make news.
For instance,
·  Any minister is admitted to hospital.
·  Nazim visits any market.
·  Prime minister's mother gets ill.
·  Minister's son gets married.
·  Any important figure's near one passes away.
·  Names of visitors, guests, committee members, conventions.
Briefs
These are short news stories not pertaining to persons but they are related to different organization, non-
government organization, associations, trusts, clubs, etc.
Policy or progress announcements/ statements of different government or non government
organizations or departments, i.e., NADRA, etc.
The closing of certain departments on special holidays.
Meetings
News regarding different meetings held or to be hold at different levels are to be covered. The criterion of
evaluating the importance of these meetings is the same we have already gone through.
Events
These events may be fairs, or festivals, or may be any exhibition of pictures of a renowned photographer or
of portraits made by an eminent painter or handcrafts. These events are the social and cultural activities in
any society and deserve to be covered or to be made a part of a news bulletin
Speeches
Speeches of leading politicians, religious leaders, any department's chairman, ministers, prime minister,
president are to be covered and given space and place according to their respective importance.
Publications
News pertaining to different publications is also covered if again, they deserve to be a part of a news
bulletin in terms of the eminence of their author and the importance of the subject matter.
The publications may be articles, books, or research papers.
Interviews
Important interviews, if revealing anything important that may affect or interest a handsome number of
people, are also included in news bulletin, especially if the interview is on any current issue.
Interview, in general, is an important genre of reporting and journalism whether print or electronic and
hence will be touched upon in detail in the coming lectures. Some important kinds of interview, however,
are given here:
Personality interviews
Informative interviews
Opinion forming interviews
Illustrative interviews
Thematic interviews
25
Table of Contents:
  1. WHAT RADIO IS:HISTORY OF RADIO, MARCONI –THE INVENTOR
  2. HISTORY OF RADIO:B.B.C. – 1922, Radio in Sub-Continent, PBC SERVICES
  3. OBJECTIVES OF BROADCASTING IN PAKISTAN:Information, Islamic ideology
  4. NEWS VALUES I:CONFLICT, PROGRESS, VICTORY AND DEFEAT
  5. NEWS VALUES II:TIMELINESS, PROXIMITY, NOVELTY, HUMAN INTEREST
  6. NEWS VALUES AND ELEMENTS OF NEWS:MISCELLANEOUS NEWS VALUES
  7. MEASURING THE IMPORTANCE OF NEWS:Intensity of an Event, NEWS STORY TYPES
  8. TYPES OF NEWS STORIES II:SIMPLE TYPES, ILLNESS, DEATH
  9. TYPES OF NEWS STORIES III:Conspiracy, Drug Trafficking, Lunar Months
  10. TYPES OF NEWS STORIES IV:COMPLEX NEWS, Forms of Government, Monarchy
  11. TYPES OF NEWS STORIES V:Education, Research, Religion
  12. TYPES OF NEWS STORIES VI:Lifestyles, Receptions, Entertainment
  13. SOURCES OF NEWS I:Network of Reporters, QUALITIES OF A REPORTER
  14. SOURCES OF NEWS II:MONITORING, NEWS/ PRESS RELEASE
  15. SOURCES OF NEWS III:National News Agencies, HARD NEWS, SOFT NEWS
  16. REPORTING:ORDER OF REPORTING, REPORTER’S QUALITIES, Well informed
  17. A SUCCESSFUL RADIO REPORTER:Briefing, Reporter’s Ammunition, Meeting Deadline
  18. INTERPRETATIVE REPORTING I:Growth of Interpretative Reporting
  19. INTERPRETATIVE REPORTING II:Factual Background, SPEECH STORY
  20. INTERPRETATIVE REPORTING III:FIRES & ACCIDENTS, CRIME STORIES
  21. INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING I:Thalidomide Scandal, Watergate Scandal
  22. INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING II:Identification of the problem, INTERVIEW
  23. TYPES OF INTERVIEW:Hard News Interview, Informational Interview
  24. ESSENTIALS OF A GOOD INTERVIEW I:Comments and Opinion, Topic must be specific
  25. ESSENTIALS OF A GOOD INTERVIEW II:Preparation of the Interview, Language
  26. RADIO NEWS GLOSSARY:Actuality, Cut, Voicer, Wrap, Hourly, Lead
  27. FUNDAMENTALS OF NEWS WRITING:Inverted Pyramided Style, Telling the Story
  28. FUNDAMENTALS OF WRITING NEWS FOR RADIO I:Language
  29. FUNDAMENTALS OF WRITING NEWS FOR RADIO II:Complex numbers
  30. ESSENTIALS OF A NEWSCASTER:Authority, Credibility, Language, Pronunciation
  31. PRODUCTION AND PLANNING:Principals of Planning a Program
  32. PRODUCER & BUDGETING:Strengths of a Radio Program, Budgeting a Program
  33. JARGONS OF PRODUCTION (Continued):Frequency spectrum, Dead studio
  34. TYPES OF TALK:Qualification of a Talker, Essentials of a talk, Vetting a talk
  35. DISCUSSION:Controlled Discussion, Live Discussion, Current affairs
  36. DISCUSSION:Selection of the TopicKnowledge of the Topic, Narrowing down the topic
  37. RADIO FEATURE:Sound Effects, Narration, Dramatic Feature, Religion, Personalities
  38. RADIO DOCUMENTARY:Commentary, History, Persons, Things, Phenomena
  39. DRAMA:Solo plays, Series, Serial, Soap, Components of Drama
  40. SPECIAL AUDIENCE PROGRAM:Children’s Programs, Women’s programs
  41. SPORTS PROGRAM:Live Programs, Recorded Programs, Preparation of OB
  42. THE MUSIC I:Folk Music, Classical Music, Light Music, Pop Music
  43. THE MUSIC II:Classification of Raga In Terms Of Notes, Aado, Khaado
  44. ETHICS & LIMITATIONS OF MEDIA:Domain of Freedom of Media, Defamation
  45. RECAP:What Radio Is, Timeliness, Elements of news, Types of Reporting, Production