News value reminder posters
When choosing an angle for your news story, you need a peg for it to hold onto. “Why is this newsworthy?” becomes the question. Answering that finds your peg and your angle, the focus of the story.
At the start of the writing process, you need to determine the news value.
There are eight news values to consider for your news peg. As my students often forget their options, I created a poster for the classroom to add this year as a reminder.
I always explicitly teach these as vocabulary and then spend a ton of time identifying them within current news cycles at the start of the school year. As time goes on, I always find kids become less and less able to recall them.
Being able to identify the news values helps student journalists understand what types of stories they should be telling in their news site or yearbook.
In yearbook, we do less timeliness and more human interest. These types of stories stand the test of time and emotionally involve the reader. In the past year, we’ve written about an athlete who experienced changes throughout his whole life, but kept baseball as a constant. We also wrote about how a student used cosplay as a means of self expression and exploration. These stories have a heart.
Currency topics are explored in our secondary coverage because they help cement that year down. I want to remember the trends and topics just as much as the people of the year. Yes, they are cringey later. That’s the point. Explore slang, clothing trends, music, social media usage and anything that feels unique to that moment in time. Be a time capsule.
Think about the news values often when writing and researching, and you will see an improvement in the value you create with your work.