|Ultimately, you want your story to end up here!|
|Newsrooms are a bit different today|
Timeliness – This seems simple enough. If a story or event has just happened or is happening “right now”, then it is timely. If you are pitching a story that happened a week ago, or something that is happening two weeks from now, it is not timely. The more timely the story, the more likely it is to be news.
Proximity – Remember this, all news is local. The majority of journalists are reporting on a local level. This means they are reporting for an audience that cares about what is happening in its own backyard, so to speak. The audience matters. That’s why a car crash in Denver matters more to local viewers than a worse crash in Ohio. Your story has to be local, or must have a local tie-in to a national story in order for most newsrooms to pay attention to it. If you’re pitching a Colorado Springs story to Denver newsrooms, it is much less likely to be picked up than if you pitched it to Colorado Springs newsrooms.
Impact – Who does this story impact? Remember that the greater number of the audience that is impacted by your story, the more it is newsworthy. For instance, while a car accident may be newsworthy, it doesn’t compare to a water main break in the suburbs. Unless the accident shuts down the highway, the water main break impacts more of the audience. This is one of the reasons why weather gets so much attention. A snowstorm impacts everyone in the audience.
WOW Factor – This is where stories about celebrities or sports generally fall. This category could also be called “uniqueness”. How unique is your story? If your story is similar to other stories that have run recently, chances are your story isn’t going to be picked up. The more unique you can make your story, the better chance you have of seeing your story on TV or in print.