The supremacy of the media allows individuals to be exposed to snapshots of news. I say the term ‘snapshots’ as what we are exposed to can only provide us with a snippet of actual events.
It is important not to take a snapshot but to take a long video of what’s going on.(Marshall, 2011)
While every day we may turn the television on and sit for 60 minutes watching the local or national news, do we question the process of what has happened in order for it to end up where it is now. The news has been processed through a number of categories. There are 7 news values which ultimately determine what is exported out to the audience. These are:
1. Cultural proximity- How the audience can culturally relate to a piece of information. For example if something in another part of the world is not culturally similar to your culture it will probably not be aired.
2.Relavance- How relevant the piece of news is to the audience. For example a story about electricity prices rising will probably be relevant to every viewer, therefore something that they would like to be exposed to.
3. Rarity – An unexpected event
4. Continuity- News that has been ongoing, once defined as a hit story
5. Elite references- Using people who are experts within a particular field to reveal a story with a lot of knowledge.
6. Negativity – Something that is negative will most probably be in the news. How can you create an interesting piece of news if it is all consensual and everyone agrees.
7.Composition – News is a package commodity, it is a construction.
8. Personalization – People, items, events and other things that represent something to someone.
“News values are used in two ways. They are the criteria of selection from material available to the newsroom of those items worthy of inclusion in the final product. Second, they are the guidelines for the presentation of items, suggesting what to emphasis, what to omit, and where to give priority in the preparation of the items for presentation to the audience”. Elliot, et al (2000).
This exemplifies that the key in watching the news, is being able to understand that what is exposed to the audience may not entirely be a true representation of events. That it is important to see news stories from different angles to become well competent in issues nationally and globally. Peter Lee-Wright’s article (2012) highlights the idea that different news organisations fight for the audiences attention between them and while they might state they are the most ‘trustworthy’ we still need to question their values to justify their existence.