In a world where everyone’s tuned into their digital devices 24/7, getting the news media’s attention requires different thinking.
Making it into the news is arguably easier than ever before. But staying there is harder, particularly if you’re using traditional values to judge newsworthiness.
The digital news media’s battle for eyeballs has changed perceptions about what constitutes news.
Stories that fail to keep readers’ attention are rapidly moved off the front page and replaced with something more attention grabbing. Hence the rise of “click bait” and other trivia.
A Cantabrian swapping a car for a lemon is deemed worthy of more pixels and web space than Britain’s snap election.
Traditional news values, such as timeliness, prominence, proximity and relevance, are being challenged by the immediacy of news.
To get your story told in this environment, you need content that
- is led by visuals
- considers context and audience
- employs new news values
- is written concisely and clearly.
- Chasing news is another way to gain coverage. It requires responding quickly to relevant stories, providing sources promptly, and offering perspective.
Getting your story in the news also means thinking about the channel, as 33 per cent of Kiwis use Facebook daily to get their news, which is influencing the type of content that’s being generated and consumed, as well as cornering the advertising market.
Spare a thought for the media
Traditional news media outlets are clearly struggling in the digitised, 24/7 environment, as evidenced by NZME and Fairfax, who claim that a merger of their businesses would give them a fighting chance against Google and Facebook.
The National Business Review and Newsroom are combining subscriptions, paywalls and sponsorship to enable them to stay afloat and keep publishing quality journalism.
Developing a sustainable business model will allow the media to continue their role as the Fourth Estate.
Meanwhile, pundits need to think differently when it comes to getting their story told in the media — or, perhaps, keeping it out.
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