News is information presented about new events, trends or issues that are happening or have just happened.
And because events, trends or issues are finite (by definition), a News Cycle exists.
The News Cycle is the lifecycle of News.
It starts with News until that News has lost its timeliness and a new cycle starts again with more timely News and so on.
The 24-hour News Cycle is the News Cycle that occurs all the time.
And has been enabled by the advent of television, radio, and particularly the Internet, blogs and social media.
News Deadlines describe the timing of when News is required to be filed for publication.
Traditionally print, radio and television news has deadlines, but the combination of the 24-hour News Cycle and the Internet, blogs can, and do, publish at any time.
News is done by a Journalist.
A Journalist goes into the field (aka life) and collects, verifies, records, analyses, presents News.
These collectively are called News Stories.
A News Story is an account (or analysis) of a single event, trend or issue.
As News is an event (something that is time bound), a News Story has a beginning and an end.
And just like any story, a News Story has characters and a plot.
Now, circling back to News…
And News is what the News Industry provides.
The News Industry is made up of News Outlets.
A News Outlet is a publication that covers information that is important to their reader demographic (etc).
A News Outlet disseminates News through its own distribution channels.
That distribution is done through Media.
Media is the collection of communication distribution tools that deliver News to a demographic.
Mass Media is Media that reaches the masses or in other words Media that has large audience reach and distribution such as via television, radio, newspaper, magazine or more recently (arguably more influentially) through the Internet, blogs and social media.
The News Industry generally covers current and political affairs, news, weather, entertainment, business and sport and provides opinions, editorial and columns.
Now because News is about new events, trends or issues that are happening in a location, News Outlets (yes, including those well before the Internet existed) make their money in 1 of 3 ways:
2. Pay-per-use (subscriptions come under this category); Or
3. A combination of 1 & 2.
If a News Outlet sells advertising, they need a lot of eyeballs (News Advertising is sold on distribution numbers).
To get a lot of eyeballs a News Outlet needs to be first and/or different.
If a News Outlet sells pay-per-use, they need to publish “quality” News.
To publish “quality” News, they need to be first and/or different.
If a News Outlet has no idea what they are doing, they do a combination of both — sell advertising, make users pay to read and publish the same story as every other New Outlet.
Some do the first well, very few do the second well, and the third is where we find ourselves primarily in Australia
So, from a business model perspective, for News Outlets to survive in a Capitalistic world, they need to publish news either first or in a different way.
The operative part in News is “new”.
News is news if it is new — meaning not existing before or being seen for the first time or being offbeat or novel.
New is literally in the name!
It’s new., plural.
The 24-hour News Cycle also pressures News Outlets to report on News all the time and quickly stay up-to-date for their audience and ahead of their competitors.
So how does a News Outlet publish be first and/or publish something different?
News Scoops and News Angles!
A News Scoop, breaking news or an exclusive refers to a News Outlet being the first to report news, before any other News Outlet does.
Being different is based on creating a new angle.
A News Angle is a different interpretation or point-of-of view taken news.
How do you find a different point-of-view or interpretation of events that are happening?
You have to be creative…
Enter Opinion Pieces, Editorials and News Columns!
An Opinion Piece is an author’s view on a subject or trend published as an article in a newspaper, magazine or blog.
Editorials are an opinion piece, point of view or commentary about a topic written by the editorial staff or publisher of a News Outlet.
These views reflect the opinion of, and align with the agenda of, the News Outlet rather than of an individual.
A News Column is a guest author who writes about their opinion point of view or commentary about a topic in the form of an essay or article for a News Outlet over a period of time as opposed to a once-off piece, which is referred to a guest article or post.
Adding Story Plots (mentioned earlier) are another way.
But adding Story Plots, Opinion Pieces, Editorials and News Columns that contain News Scoops and News Angles don’t sell themselves!
Here are where News Hooks come in!
A News Hook is the idea or theme that will “hook” the consumer’s attention, so they want to find out more by consuming the full News Story.
News Hooks are usually expressed through a Story Headline.
But in a sea of eyeballs, how do you get your Story Headline seen?
You make it eye-catching.
You pander to sensationalism, shock value, controversy, gossip etc.
In United States this is called Yellow Journalism.
In the UK it is called Tabloid.
News can help shape recorded history, influence agenda and public opinion, maintain accountability and inform citizens.
And of course, Public Opinion is the summary of the views among the public.
The problem with News Outlets which make their money via advertising is that their incentive is revenue
Their bosses are Advertisers, no one else.
The more sensational, shocking, controversial, gossipy your headlines, the more eyeballs you get.
The more eyeballs you get, the more advertising dollars you get.
The more advertising dollars you get, the more revenue you get.
Happy days for News Outlets and Advertisers.
Not so much for News Consumers.
And for this reason, Journalistic Standards exist.
Journalistic Standards are ethics Journalists should adhere to around truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness, factuality, non-partisanship and public accountability.
This is at odds with News Outlets business model described above and in most circumstances are not legally enforceable.
In general, if something is printed on the public record in the form of News, then prima facie, it is considered fact.
If you are NOT paying for your News, you may be getting a sensational, shocking, controversial, gossipy interpretation of News.
Simply, that business model doesn’t support it.
If you are paying for your News, you have a direct relationship with a promise for payment.
Very few people can say they pay for News.
And News is not necessarily representative (remember back to Opinion Pieces, Editorials and News Columns as well).
This presents a problem; if News it is believed, it becomes true and can be acted upon with real world consequences.
With so much distrust of the News Industry (the entire left to right socio-political spectrum), I am curious to see how the industry over the next decade will go about rebuilding trust in those who have lost faith.
I think it will be a long, hard road for them.
But in the interim, how does one get the “truth” about events, trends or issues that are happening or have just happened?
One can’t, but one can get close to it…
And it’s not News as we know it.
The Law of Evidence has been stress tested for almost half a millennium by the Judiciary and for the sake of simplicity, truth comes from the sources themselves — what they experienced: see, heard, smelt, felt, tasted.
It doesn’t come from what they heard someone else experience, that is hearsay.
Most Mass Media publish News Stories on:
• Local events, trends or issues;
• International events, trends or issues;
• Sport events, trends or issues;
• Financial events, trends or issues;
• Weather events, trends or issues;
• And so on…
They are stories (i.e. dictionary definition — an interpretation of fact), not fact.
Yet, all of the primary evidence for these stories exist, and is easily accessible with an internet connection.
The problem is, none of these primary sources are all in one place, so although I said this is easily accessible, they certainly isn’t quick to access.
So why don’t people consume them (i.e. still rely on the News Industry despite the mistrust)?
It takes time to collect it all!
I am building a single place that gathers the key primary sources the News Industry relies on.
If you want to be a Beta tester of this, please let me know…