Priorities Of Contemporary News Journalism Essay

It is an frequently asked inquiry, how does a journalist prioritise the choice of intelligence narratives.

An academic position to comprehending the procedure of how a intelligence journalist prioritises the choice of modern-day intelligence is Gaulten and Ruge ‘s survey “ The construction of foreign intelligence ” . This survey can be found in the Journal of International Peace Research in 1965.I think overall that, Galtung and Ruge ‘s intelligence values model demands to be adapted somewhat in order to capture the precedences of modern-day intelligence news media.

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For the following portion of my essay I will discourse the original 1960s theoretical account and place its constructs.The brace conducted a survey which looked at foreign newspapers and specifically at foreign intelligence. Harmonizing to Harcup and O’Neill ( 2001 ) “ The cardinal inquiry at the bosom of their paper was how do events ( particularly, foreign events in their instance ) become “ intelligence? ”They researched what foreign newspapers featured on other universe intelligence and found the narratives were more likely to be featured in the newspaper if they contained the intelligence values of negativeness, threshold, propinquity, frequence, unequivocalness, consonant rhyme, unexpectedness, continuity, meaningfulness, composing and mention to elite states and elect individuals.By and large talking, intelligence values of a narrative are based on what relevancy and consequence a narrative has on its audience, in other words its newsworthiness. The greater the relevancy and consequence on the audience, ( the higher figure of intelligence values the narrative contains ) makes the narrative more of a precedence in the intelligence news media universe. Palmer, cited in Harcup and O’Neill ( 2001 ) stated that Galtung and Ruge ‘s survey was “ the earliest effort to supply a systematic definition of newsworthiness ” .

The narrative could be based on perfectly anything, from concentrating on an person, to a running narrative or be wholly unexpected etc. However, non all intelligence narratives are newsworthy. Narratives that are seen as a precedence in modern-day intelligence news media are normally those to make with political relations, human involvement and catastrophes etc. A narrative that is classed as newsworthy is frequently described as speedy, negative and sustains play etc. Harmonizing to Mcnair ( 1999 ) “ intelligence values act as a cue for the audience alarming them to the importance of the issue ” .Newss values can frequently overlap with newsroom observation surveies, for illustration, both try to capture the unwritten regulations of news media. News values of a narrative are non written down in a book. A trainee journalist can non be taught about what intelligence values apply to each narrative.

Harmonizing to Lippman ( 1922 ) “ intelligence values are an informal codification ” . The journalist has to larn to see what intelligence values a narrative has and its intelligence worthiness to its audience.So the ground behind why a certain narrative has been selected as a front page narrative for argument interest in a newspaper, is because the editor believes it has high intelligence values and is really newsworthy to its audience, intending people are traveling to read it because the narrative is relevant and/or affects them and, hence, is a precedence in the intelligence news media universe.

Harmonizing to Lippman ( 1922 ) “ newsmans are said to hold a good olfactory organ or a gut feeling for a good narrative ” .For the benefit of this essay I will specify merely a few of Galtung and Ruge ‘s intelligence values. First, negativeness, which refers to the old clich & A ; eacute ; of ‘the merely good intelligence is bad intelligence ‘ . An illustration of a narrative that contains this intelligence value is the recession and the go oning rise of the unemployed. Threshold, is another intelligence value which is based on the size of the narrative for illustration how many people does it affect? E.g.

The Jonathan Ross saga involved a figure of people holding their wages cut. Proximity, is another intelligence value this is based on whether the narrative is close to viewing audiences economically or geographically. Unexpectedness of an event is a intelligence value which is reasonably much self explanatory an illustration of a narrative that contains this intelligence value is 9/11.Another intelligence value is what is known as a Continuation narrative, which is an constituted sequence, an illustration being the Madeline McCann narrative, as this has been an on-going narrative since her disappearing in 2007. Galtung and Ruge believe that the more intelligence values a narrative has, the more of a precedence it has in modern-day intelligence news media. An illustration of this would be the 2004 Tsunami which included the intelligence values of negativeness as many lost their places and lives.

Unexpectedness, as there was no warning to the natural catastrophe. Threshold, as the narrative involved a immense figure of people. It was finally a continuance narrative where it was reported on for hebdomads after the event happened.For the benefit of this essay, I am traveling to compare the similarities and differences of what intelligence narratives were selected and seen as a precedence to the intelligence news media universe ( as they were seen as the most newsworthy to their audience ) .I chose to look at BBC Wales Today and ITV ‘S Wales Tonight.

The programmes were aired on Monday 26h October at 6.00 p.m.ITV Wales narratives were ( in a three to four word sum up of each narrative ) a auto bomb in Pakistan which has the intelligence values of negativeness and threshold as it affects a big figure of people. The 2nd narrative is about 3 pilots deceasing in a plane clang which has the intelligence values of negativeness, propinquity ( geographically ) as the location of the clang was close to viewing audiences and one of the victims lived in Cardiff. The narrative besides held the intelligence value of surprisingness of the clang. Finally the 3rd narrative which was about a run to raise the liquors of the Welsh people populating in the vale. This narrative had the intelligence value of propinquity, as it is the location of where a big figure of people from the mark audience unrecorded and threshold as it affects a big figure of people.

The first BBC Wales Today narrative was about unpaid benefit, whereby people with disablements are owed money by the Government. The narrative has the intelligence values of negativeness and threshold as it affects a big figure of people. The narrative was a continuance narrative as this narrative has been running for a piece.

The 2nd narrative was the vales run to raise liquors, which had the same intelligence values as antecedently mentioned. Finally the 3rd narrative was the Teacher of the twelvemonth award, which is about a secondary school caput instructor in Worcestershire winning the award. The intelligence values for this point are propinquity, as it is near to where the mark audience lives, and surprisingness of who was the victor of the award.An interesting point to do is that the lone narrative featured on both intelligence programmes was the 1 about the vales run even though the angle and where the narrative was placed in the intelligence programme differed. It was placed 3rd in ITV ‘S running order and second in BBC Wales Today.

This means that BBC Wales Today believes that the narrative is more intelligence worthy to its audience and, hence, more of a precedence in intelligence news media to be shown in that peculiar order. Another factor to see is why certain narratives were chosen for ITV and non selected for BBC Wales? Why were certain narratives seen as a precedence in modern-day news media and others were non?A extremely criticised point made by Tunsall ( 1971 ) shows how the theoretical account decidedly needs to be updated, as elaborate and better exposure are used more often in modern-day intelligence news media, this may be due to a figure of grounds such as the progress of engineering. Besides, there seems to be a turning figure of citizen news media, where non trained journalists take it upon themselves to take images, for illustration, direct them to editors of newspapers and so do money out of them.

I would decidedly modify the theoretical account as I believe intelligence values of a narrative can besides be ocular jussive moods, as in a image or picture footage.We may see that without such ocular jussive moods some intelligence narratives may non hold been so newsworthy, for illustration, 9/11. The narrative had some astonishing images taken of the event ; of the Twin Towers really fall ining ( The images were taken by a citizen journalist which showed how speedy, unexpected and flooring the event was ) .However, we have to see without this footage would the narrative have been so large? Inevitably the narrative would hold been front page intelligence globally without the footage as it would hold been a precedence narrative in intelligence news media but the footage has a definite impact on the narrative. Harmonizing to Tunsall as cited in Harcup and O’Neill ( 2001 ) they province that “ Galtung and Ruge looked merely at content that was explicitly concerned with the selected crises ; and their list of factors made no mention to how ocular elements, such as dramatic exposure, could impact the content of written stuff ” .Having ocular jussive moods makes the narrative have higher intelligence values than if there was no images etc. at all and it was merely a written article about the event. I think snaping for such a intelligence narrative are necessary as it helps capture the precedences of modern-day intelligence news media.

A unfavorable judgment of Galtung and Ruge ‘s theoretical account is, how do journalists specify their intelligence values? This may be made clearer by Harcup and O’Neill ‘s ( 2001 ) illustration. Using one of Galtung and Ruge ‘s intelligence values called threshold. They province “ Is n’t this still unfastened to subjective reading? Which is bigger, 20 deceases in 10 route accidents or five deceases in one rail clang? ” So it seems that possibly the theoretical account is ill-defined and that it should be updated to be clearer about their definitions of intelligence values, in order to be able to capture the precedences of modern-day intelligence news media.Furthermore, Harcup and O’Neill ( 2001 ) argue that “ A figure of Galtung and Ruge ‘s factors appear to be debatable to place while others may be identifiable but less in any intrinsic belongingss of a possible intelligence narrative and more in the procedure of how a narrative has been constructed or written up ” . In other words they argue that Galtung and Ruge ‘s theoretical account is more to make with how a narrative has been told by the journalist.

However, an alternate position to Galtung and Ruge ‘s propaganda intelligence values theoretical account is the Herman and Chomsky ‘s propaganda theoretical account ( 1988 ) in Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. The brace ( who are professors of communicating ) , examine and analyse grounds of US intelligence end product and why it works in this manner in capturing the precedences of modern-day news media. This theory proposes a five filter theory which I will now travel on to discourse.

The five filters are size ownership, advertisement, beginnings, flak catcher and anti- communism.Basically the Herman and Chomsky theory ( from a manus out given in talks ) , is based on the administration of intelligence establishments, as they see the intelligence news media universe, as being set in the market system. The five filters work through independent action and self-censorship alternatively of direct control. Harmonizing to Herman ( 1996 ) “ They work as “ filters ” through which information must go through, and that separately and frequently in linear manner they help determine media picks ” .I am traveling to discourse the five filters, the first being size/ownership which is going increasingly more concentrated. The brace believes there are a smaller figure of owners concerned and it seems the large fish at the top eat the small fish. They believe that the market ( which is owned by a limited figure of affluent people ) , is wholly focused in the way of net income and that there are certain barriers to entry in to the ownership market.

They argue that restrictive patterns are sometimes activated and that the intelligence media has a constitutional prejudice because of its common involvements with other major corporations.The 2nd filter is publicizing ; Chomsky and Herman claim that the intelligence media is in the concern of selling audiences to advertizers ( particularly flush audiences ) . Corporate advertizers hence work as an unofficial licensing authorization. A big portion of net income made by newspaper companies is from advertisement gross.Harmonizing to Herman ( 1996 ) “ Newspapers are funded mostly by advertizers who are besides profit-seeking entities, and who want their ads to look in a supportive merchandising environment ” .The 3rd filter is primary beginnings, which the brace claim that journalists are obliged to see official beginnings ( political, corporate, military ) as basically more dependable than others. Alternate beginnings of intelligence and sentiments are hence marginalized or ignored.The following filter is flak.

This can be negative responses from above to intelligence coverage ( phone calls, letters, menaces, etc. ) all of which constitute ‘flak ‘ . It receives respectful attending ( and is non denounced or ignored for what it is ) . ‘Flak ‘ disturbances advertizers so intelligence media strive to avoid making anything to worsen it in other words they will non print anything that will pique the advertizer.Finally the last filter I am traveling to depict is anti-communism ( besides referred to as the ‘anti-ideology ‘ filter ) . It believes the US intelligence media has an built-in prejudice against communism, in peculiar, but besides against any signifier of socialism and it hence tends to back up the US in respects to rightist governments abroad.

Many journalists argue there are many reviews of this theoretical account such as it does n’t fit journalists ‘ ain intuitions. They believe that the 5th filter is excessively restricted ( in clip and infinite ) . They argue that it is a ‘conspiracy theory ‘ and it ignores objectiveness as a chief fright of the journalist.

Harmonizing to Klaehn ( 2002 ) Chomsky and Herman ‘s theory is an “ excessively deterministic position of media behavior ” .I think some of the filters apply in the UK for capturing intelligence news media, for illustration, size and ownership, as Chomsky and Herman argue that the intelligence media is progressively concentrated into fewer concerns. My research ( although it merely talks about the intelligence medium of newspapers ) , concurs that ownership is restricted. Harmonizing to The House of Lords ( 2008 ) “ In the United Kingdom, the national newspaper industry is run by eight companies-one of which has over 35 % of the national newspaper market ” .

I think that 2nd filter advertisement if the most influential of all the filters, because without gross from advertisement, the gross made from the sale of newspapers would non be plenty to back up the company financially and most likely stockholders of the company would see this as a immense job as there would be no newspaper.This fact can be supported by the Chomsky and Herman theory mentioned in the first filter, who province “ The market is wholly focused in the way of net income ” and they argue that “ restrictive practises are sometimes activated ” .For argument interest, if the Royal bank of Scotland were a major advertizer in the Daily Mail, and this newspaper ran a negative piece about how the Royal Bank of Scotland fillip payouts to senior executives were outrageously high, the newspaper risks future advertisement gross from the offense caused.

So this shows how certain information is non ever captured by newspapers in modern-day intelligence news media.To reason, although I believe that this original 1960s theoretical account is suited in some respects, it does necessitate modifying as it is outdated. A singular point to do is that the theoretical account does non include anything about famous persons and this would decidedly be a alteration I would do. Britain ‘s modern-day intelligence news media now frequently features famous person narratives in their newspapers. It is frequently argued that British society has become highly hypnotized with the famous person life and has developed into a famous person civilization where we want to happen out what the famous persons have been up to, who ‘s have oning what, who has merely had a babe and who is dividing up etc. It has become really much apparent that famous person narratives have become portion of today ‘s intelligence, although a point to believe about is whether it is a major precedence to modern-day intelligence news media to have these types of narratives in our intelligence beginnings.

Harcup and O’Neill ‘s ( 2001 ) analyze provinces that when Galtung and Ruge ‘s intelligence theoretical account mentions the intelligence value, Reference to Elite People they stated that they were “ non needfully the elect people that Galtung and Ruge had in head. The UK imperativeness seems obsessed with famous persons such as Television soap stars, athleticss stars, movie stars and, of class, royalty. In contrast, the “ elect people ” identified by Galtung and Ruge ‘s theoretical account were the politically powerful, people in places of authorization ” .With newspapers including more information about dirt and famous persons, there are concerns about the so called ‘dumbing down of intelligence ‘ and possible growing of a term called tabloidization. This is where political intelligence is being replaced by famous person intelligence. So is this truly what society wants to read about? Has modern-day news media come to this?


  • Harcup, T. and O’Neill, D.

    ( 2001 ) Three and All Saints University College, UK Journalism Studies, Volume 2, Number 2, 2001, pp. 261-280, Routledge.

  • Herman ( 1996 ) The propaganda theoretical account revisited. ‘ Monthly Review. July.
  • Klaehn, J.

    ( 2002 ) European Journal of Communication, SAGE Publications, London.

  • Lippman, W. ( 1922 ) Public Opinion. New York: Free Press.

  • Mcnair ( 1999 ) News and news media in the UK, Routledge.
  • Tunstall, J. ( 1971 ) Journalists at Work, London: Constable.
  • House of Godheads ( 2007 ) : hypertext transfer protocol: //
  • Class notes made in talks
  • Interview between Andrew Marr and Chomsky ( given out as a press release in category )

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