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

Reading Time: 2 minutes

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.


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


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


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


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


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.


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.

Emily is in her third-year of Political Science. She loves studying and academics which follows into her research work. She's an avid plant mom and a stern black coffee drinker. When she's not working or doing school work, you can find her listening to 70s music on vinyl and watching Parks and Recreation.