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Pre-reading task.




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Work in pairs. Can you remember what the essence of news is? Name the main qualities and categories of news.

Study the following words and expressions:

Amplify v[ ] – расширять, излагать подробно, со всеми деталями

Bizarre adj [ ] - причудливый, странный, эксцентричный

the bulk of news [ ] – основная масса новостей

by the same token [ ] – к тому же

conversely adv[ ] - обратно; вспять, назад; наоборот

embody v [ , ] - изображать, олицетворять (чем-л.); заключать в себе (какую-л. идею)

enhance v [ , ] - увеличивать, усиливать, улучшать

expendable [ , ] - одноразового пользования; недлительного пользования

exploit n, v [ ] - деяние, подвиг; пользоваться, использовать, эксплуатировать

glibly adv [ ] - многоречиво; многословно; бойко

have an impact [ ] – влиять, воздействовать

newsworthy adj [ ] - достойный освещения в печати, интересный, важный (о событии)

perishable adj [ ] - бренный, непрочный

proximity n [ ] – приближённость, схожесть, близость

pursue a story [ ] - заниматься материалом

stale adj [ ] - избитый, утративший новизну

vigilantism n[,vɪdʒɪ’læntɪzəm] - бдительность

 

Read the article and check your answers on Pre-reading task:

Out of the millions of things that happen every day, print and electronic journalists decide what few things are worth reporting. Deciding what is newsworthy is not an exact science. News values are formed by tradition, technology, organizational policy, and increasingly by economics. Nonetheless, most journalists agree that there are common elements that characterize newsworthy events. Below are listed the five qualities of news about which there is the most agreement.

1. Timeliness. To put it glibly, news is new. Yesterday's news is old news. A consumer who picks up the evening paper or turns on the afternoon news expects to he told what happened earlier that same day. News is perishable and stale news is not interesting.

2. Proximity. News happens close by. Readers and viewers want to learn about their neighborhood, town, or country. All other things being equal, news from close to home is more newsworthy than news from a foreign country. A train derailment in France, for example, is less likely to be reported than a similar derailment in the local train-yard. Proximity, however, means more than a simple measure of distance. Psychological proximity is also important. Subway riders in San Francisco might show interest in a story about rising vigilantism on the New York subways, even though the story is happening 3000 miles away.



3. Prominence. The more important a person, the more valuable he or she is as a news source. Thus, activities of the president and other heads of state attract tremendous media attention. In addition to political leaders, the activities of sports and entertainment figures are also deemed newsworthy. Even the prominence of the infamous has news value. The past lives and recent exploits of many criminals are frequently given media coverage.

4. Consequence. Events that have an impact on a great many people have built in news value. A tax increase, the decision to lay off thousands of workers, a drought, inflation, an economic downturn - all of these events have consequence. Note that the audience for a particular news item is a big factor in determining its consequence. The closing of a large factory in Kankakee, Illinois, might be page one news there, but it probably wouldn't be mentioned in Keokuk, Iowa.



5. Human Interest. These are stories that arouse some emotion in the audience; stories that are ironic, bizarre, uplifting, or dramatic. Typically, these items concern ordinary people who find themselves in circumstances with which the audience can identify. Thus, when the winner of the state lottery gives half of his winnings to the elderly man who sold him the ticket, it becomes newsworthy. When a ninety-year-old brick-maker from North Carolina volunteers to go to Guyana to help the local construction industry, it becomes news.

In addition to these five traditional elements of news value, there are other things that influence what information gets published or broadcast. Most journalists agree that economics plays a large role. First, some stories cost more to cover than others. It is cheaper to send a reporter or a camera crew to the city council meeting than to assign a team of reporters to investigate city council corruption. The latter would require a long time, extra resources, extra personnel, and patience. All of which cost money. Some news operations might not be willing to pay the price for such a story. Or, conversely, after spending a large sum of money pursuing a story, the news organization might run it, even if it had little traditional news value, simply to justify its cost to management. By the same token, the cost of new technology is reflected in the types of stories that are covered. When TV stations went to electronic news gathering (ENG), stories that could be covered live became more important. In fact, many organizations, conscious of the scheduling of TV news programs, planned their meetings and/or demonstrations during the newscast to enhance their chances for TV coverage. Further, after helicopters became an expensive investment at many large TV stations, traffic jams, fires, beautiful sunsets, and other stories that lent themselves to airborne journalism suddenly became newsworthy.




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