What Makes News, News? – BTN Media Literacy
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What Makes News, News? – BTN Media Literacy


(WAGGLES TONGUE RAPIDLY) Mah! Mah! Mah! Mah! The tip of the tongue. The tip… Susan, we talked about
the bronzer. One minute. Have you ever wondered
what makes news news? Who is she talking to? I mean, things are happening
all around us all the time. So why do we hear about
some things and not others? Final checks! Five, four, three, two… Coming up tonight, Melbourne cyclist
has a pleasant ride to work. Sydney woman forgets to put
her bins out but she says
they weren’t full anyway. (CHEERING) And Walkerville Primary
basketball team wins a game against another team. But first to our main story. An Australian politician
seems to be doing a pretty good job. Three, two, one, cue… Roll tape. What’s in the news
will always depend on who’s reporting it
and who’s consuming it. For example, is it science news,
national news or kids news? But you’ll find news stories
often have some things in common. They’re known as news values and they include things
like timeliness. That’s the whole ‘new’ bit in news. It means we’re much more likely
to care about something if it just happened. Thanks for that, Tiffany. In other news, a house in Olive
Grove has been destroyed by fire. Patricia Norman is live
at the scene. Thanks, Burt. I’m standing outside the residence that was completely destroyed
by a fire which began at 5am five years ago. As you can see,
the owners have completely rebuilt and it’s looking pretty good really. I hear there’s a pool out the back. But at the time, let me tell you,
it was…it was a real mess. And…back to you in the studio. While it’s pretty obvious why
we’d want news stories to be new, if you think about it,
that whole timeliness thing can mean we miss out
on important stories just because they aren’t new anymore, or because they happen slowly. So, I’ve got this story for you. Temperatures are apparently
going up all over the place. They’re calling it global warming. Global warming? (SCOFFS) That’s
never going to be a news story. Another common news value
is oddity or unusualness. There’s an old saying about this one
involving men and dogs. (GROWLS) It goes, if a dog bites a man,
it’s not news. But if a man bites a dog, well, that is news. That’s because, generally speaking, a dog biting a person
isn’t that unusual so it’s not that newsworthy, unless, of course, that
person’s being mauled to death or they’re famous. Nah. Whereas, a man biting a dog,
well, people don’t usually do that. It’s weird and it’s probably illegal. Ned, what are you doing? The news is full of unusual things and that can affect the way
we see the world. After a while, it can feel like unusual things
are happening all the time when actually
they are by definition unusual. Come here. Things are more likely to make
the news if they’re high impact. That means they affect
a lot of people. Oh, you’re kidding me! For example, the power going out at
Simmo’s house, not much impact there. But the power going out
across an entire state, well, that’s definitely news. G’day, g’day. Proximity means were more likely
to care about something if it happens in our own backyard. Are you alright, mate? All good, mate. Come on over. It means we’re more likely to hear
about something close to home like, say, a factory fire
in Melbourne rather than one in Manila. Yeah, I heard about that one.
That was terrible. It’s also why something
like a car crash in Australia might get more coverage
than a train crash in India, even though the train crash
affects more people. So, what are you doing this weekend? Well, my friend bought me
a tandem bike for Christmas. Oh, really.
I’m Johnny from next door. How are you doing?
Nice to meet you. Proximity can also mean
cultural proximity. That is, how close we feel
to the people involved or affected. So, I know in the UK
you call these grills, mate. We call them barbies. And these aren’t sausages,
they’re snags, right? You might have noticed
that here in Australia we tend to hear a lot about
what’s happening in the US… (AMERICAN ACCENT) Hey. How are ya? ..and the UK. (BRITISH ACCENT) Oh, hello there. That’s partly because a lot of
Australians feel like the US and UK are culturally similar to us. We love to barbecue corn
in America. We share a language and we watch a lot of British
and American movies and TV shows. I knew we would find common ground. So, people are more likely
to want to know about what’s happening in these countries. But focusing on news from places we’re culturally
or geographically close to isn’t necessarily a good thing. After all, Australia is a pretty
multicultural place and a lot of Aussies don’t actually
share a cultural history with the US or UK. Knowing what’s happening
in other countries can be a really good thing. It can give us a sense
of perspective and make us more informed
about the world around us. Plus, when we know more about
other places and other people we’re much more likely
to care about them. Sausage? Oh, my God!
Is that Amelia Moseley from BTN? Oh, my God. Is that Amelia?
(GASPS) Amelia?
Amelia? Can we get a photo with you, please?
Just a quick one. As you might have noticed, the news
media loves famous people. Famous movie stars, famous
politicians, business people, or even famous reporters. Amelia, can I please get
your autograph? Sure. This sort of thing is actually
pretty ingrained in human nature. Long before we had Kardashians, people would follow the lives
of monarchs, religious figures or other well-known members
of society. That could be because we want
to be like people in power or just because
we want to feel connected. Oh, my God, you’re even prettier
in real life. But that doesn’t mean the news
can end up reporting on things that, well, shouldn’t really be news. (THUD!) Oh. I’m OK. I’m OK. I’m fine… It’s going to be the fight
of the century, two of boxing’s greatest rivals! Who will win? Another thing the news media loves
is a good fight. Introducing on my left,
Billy the Bone Crusher! Bonecrusher. Yes! Introducing on my right, Simon the Rookie. Hi, Mum. News stories often feature
some kind of conflict, whether it’s between unions
and bosses, rival politicians, environmentalists and developers or, you know, sports people. You see that? He just flinched. I’m gonna wipe the floor
with his tiny shorts. I’m the greatest athlete
in the world. Waste of my time. I’m the best. It’s easy to see why. I mean, it’s kind of fun
to barrack for a side. But sometimes these conflicts
can be exaggerated. So, look, I’m probably
not going to win this fight. I mean,
I’m not even that good at this. Look at me. Look at him. You know how we went to the mall
on Saturday? Did you end up getting
that gorgeous lace white jacket? Mm-hm. The shoulder pads.
Yeah, with the shoulder pads. Yeah, the strong look, yes.
I loved it. G’day, ladies.
How was your weekend? Oh, hi. Yeah, mine was really good,
actually. I went on a date. Ooh, tell me about it.
Uh, well, we went.. Let’s face it,
if the news were a person he’d be kind of depressing
to be around. Three people
were murdered yesterday. My God, that’s awful. A study’s found you won’t live
as long as your parents. That’s a bit of a downer. Did I tell you about Tobias? East Africa
is in the grip of famine. The world is inching
ever closer to nuclear war. (WHISTLES) It’s not just that journalists
are a morbid bunch. Studies show that we’re actually
more likely to pay attention to bad news than to good news, and that could have something to do
with the way we respond to threats. (THUD!) Be careful. That’s dangerous. It might be
that we remember bad news because it’s a warning about
possible dangers in the world, although social media
could be changing things. So while he was sick in hospital, all of his favourite movie stars
came and visited him. In the same way we tend
to prefer happy friends, we tend to share more good news
stories on social media. Then they find the cat
after 10 years. I reckon I saw that too. In fact, studies have shown
positive news stories spread further and more quickly
than negative ones. While that could be
a positive thing, don’t forget bad news is often
really important news while good news sometimes isn’t. I’m just so happy to have Fluffy
back after 10 long years. Although he has changed colour
a bit. Back to Burt in three… ..two…one… Cue. A riveting and emotional piece
there. And just to follow up… Remember, there are no real rules
about what’s news and what isn’t. But it’s good to think about why
you’re being told about something and how it might be shaping
your view of the world. Well, that’s the news for tonight. I’m Burt Rockwell.
See you next time. Susan, this bronzer is awful. You’ll never work
in this town again. What? What do you mean,
my mike’s still on? Oh, sh… Captions by Red Bee Media Copyright
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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