Making News in Your Community

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Making News in Your Community

News today is all around us. We get it on TV, radio, internet, newspapers, magazines and even printed news cuttings. The challenge for all journalists is how to present this in a way that is unbiased and yet pertinent to the public interest. There are many rules in journalism that need to be observed.

News today is mostly about business models. Businesses such as oil exploration, mineral extraction, water extraction, property development, industrial expansion, mergers and acquisitions, are among the most common news topics. Reporters all the time structure that chaos, that the public gets it straightly and tidily put into different stories, the next day in morning newspapers, radio or television and the following day at local newspapers. It gets evaluated every day.

One important thing in any type of news media is balance. Balance between information and opinion. The balance between information that informs and opinion that encouraging. For example, if some businessperson is opposed to an oil exploration, he/she could appear on morning news to discuss that and leave other news sources that discuss that in the comments section. This would not reflect very well on the reputation of the newspaper or television station that carries the news story.

News is about readers and listeners. We all know there are many readers and we all read newspapers, magazines, radio, television. But, it is the opinions expressed by readers on blogs and social networks that have an effect on our attitudes and values. If readers of the news media are expressing extreme disagreement, this has a strong influence on the minds of readers.

In a case where a local story affects a person’s life or family, then it can have a strong personal impact. A story that tells of an automobile accident in the neighborhood that made the family members very sad can reach many readers through blogs, online forums, and local news outlets. It makes many readers aware of something that could happen to them. It may make them more cautious when they drive after dark or they might be more careful about what kind of items they leave in their vehicles. These stories reach an audience that may not normally visit or listen to the same news sources.

The same can be said for news that discusses political or environmental issues that affect people in a region or state. There is a large amount of interest in these kinds of stories because the news value is unusual. Readers will be surprised when they find out a political impasse in Congress or when new regulations are being passed to protect wildlife populations or the environment. In this way, a story makes local news more interesting and readers will want to learn more.

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Cape Town, South Africa