OPINION: Why do some stories get covered while others don’t?

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With so much happening all over the world, how does the media pick which stories to cover? How come some small things get so much coverage, while other, larger issues are seemingly ignored? One media theory proposes eight different factors that influence a story’s importance to the news media.

Timeliness

Events that have happened recently or will happen soon are prioritized.

Proximity

How close the event is to the news station and its audience has a great impact.

Prominence

How important or famous the people are that are involved. Additionally, the amount of coverage the event is getting on social media.

Impact

How “big of a deal” the event is. More people impacted means a greater chance of getting the event covered.

Conflict

There’s an old saying: “If it bleeds, it leads.” Conflict is a great way to frame a story and discuss it.

Human interest/peculiarity

The weirder the event, the better for the media.

Currency

These are events that are being talked about elsewhere, like on social media. If social media talks about it enough, the news media take notice.

Visual potential

The better the pictures or video the media can get to play while talking about the event, the better.

How to bring attention to a story

As a final note, if you feel as though there is a major news story that is not gaining attention, the best way to go about it is to either contact a local news station directly, or share the story on social media.