According to Golding and Elliot, the media selects its available stories and rates them from important to less important, creating the news that they choose to report based on their opinion. It derived from unstated or implicit assumptions or judgment about the audience, accessibility and fit (Golding & Elliot, 2000). When selecting a news, the press will consider news that will appeal according to the audience’s preferences rather than applying objective standard
There are four features which news can be classified under. The first is Transient, in this feature news increases in importance compared to history, the essence of news is more than general knowledge, but less than formal knowledge of an event and news is characterised by its brief and short-lived quality.
The second feature is Pseudo-events where various occurrences are arranged for the convenience of the mass media. It also relies on the success of the public relations campaign that accompanies the events and can then be assessed by how widely the event is reported. Lastly it focuses on the public’s expectation that newspapers, television and radio have to be full of news and if there is no news visible, the successful reporters of news organisations are still expected to provide a story.
Feature three is Narrativisation. In this feature items are from the start called “stories”, and they are shaped into narrative form as soon as possible. For example, war and terrorism coverage draws on an existing repertoire from Second World War narratives, the last virtuous modern war.
The final feature is Visual Imperatives. This features is important in television news. It drives towards stories that have “strong” pictures, whether it be celebrities, famines or scenes which resemble films.
In relation to the Arab Spring most of the western media failed to highlight the historical evolution of the Arab world due to lack of coverage of the event. Ben Wedeman, CNN’s Cairo-based senior international correspondent stated that the role of journalists is crucial and constant news coverage must be available in addressing the event. He stated “‘Arab Spring’ is a story of huge historical importance that will reverberate for years afterwards, a bit like World War I and its impact on the Middle East that we feel to this very day,” (Lee0 Wright, 2012).
The western media has been criticized numerous times for their news coverage and for selecting what elements to include and exclude in their newsroom. When covering the Egyptian Revolution, the press tend to increase the controversy reporting it as violent and drama rather than the underlying injustice facing by the Egypt nation. The Boston bombing which occurred on April 15th, dominated cover pages of newspapers and was highlighted in newsroom in many countries including Malaysia. Within 24 hours of the Boston bombing another bombing happened in Iraq. However, unlike the significant attention received by the Boston bombing, how many of us actually noticed about the tragedy that is happening in Iraq at almost the same period of time?
Lee- Wright, P 2012, ‘News Values: An Assessment of News Priorities Through a Comparative Analysis of Arab Spring Anniversary Coverage’
Golding, P & Elliot, P. 2000, ‘News Values & News Production’, New York University Press, P. 632- 644