News Values and Selectivity

Authored by: Deirdre O’Neill , Tony Harcup

The Handbook of Journalism Studies

Print publication date:  November  2008
Online publication date:  January  2009

Print ISBN: 9780805863420
eBook ISBN: 9780203877685
Adobe ISBN: 9781135592011


 Download Chapter



Ideas about what news is and how it is selected have long fascinated the practitioners and scholars of journalism alike, although they tend to use very different language when discussing the subject. Legendary newspaper editor Harold Evans (2000, p. 2, 9) writes that “a sense of news values” is the first quality required of copy editors—those “human sieves of the torrent of news” who select and edit material for publication—more important even than an ability to write or a command of language. But when it comes to defining this sense of news values, “journalists rely on instinct rather than logic,” according to veteran television reporter John Sergeant (2001, p. 226). In contrast, academics have described the production of news as “the passive exercise of routine and highly regulated procedures in the task of selecting from already limited supplies of information” (Golding & Elliott, 1979, p. 114).

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.