In search of the TRUTH
A previous tip (‘No news is bad news’) suggested that it’s the media, not the crisis-struck organisation, that gets to decide whether a story is newsworthy or not. But how exactly do they decide?
Well, it’s quite simple really, journalists are looking for the ‘TRUTH’.
‘T’ stands for Topical. A story is topical if it’s ‘of the moment’. So your story might be more newsworthy because it fits with a prevailing theme or if a link can be made with something else that’s currently in the news.
‘R’ is for Relevant. Relevant to the journalist’s audience, that is. This may be a particular age group, gender, interest, lifestyle, demographic or geographical area, for example.
‘U’ stands for Unusual. If it’s out of the ordinary (and most crises are, by definition), a journalist is likely to be interested.
‘T’ is for Trouble. Yes it’s true, journalists do like conflict. Because, quite often, their readers, viewers or listeners find a bit of conflict interesting too.
‘H’ stands for Human. Journalists like stories about people. So if people are affected in some way, there’s probably a story in it.
For a journalist, the ideal story will contain all of the above elements. But they may be happy with three or four of them, particularly if it’s the proverbial ‘slow news day’.