During our second week Rob introduced us to the five characteristics of news. They include: Timeliness, Importance; Proximity, Prominence; Oddities. They all seem like pretty important characteristics.

Timeliness, meaning events that are happening right now, inform people about breaking news. For example “There’s been an accident on the corner of North Front St. and Bell Blvd. So far no injuries have been confirmed, but lanes will be shut down for the next hour”. Don’t know too many details just yet, but we were informed quick enough to reroute and avoid backup traffic. It’s important because it keeps us up with the now.

Importance speaks to what is important to the audience. Sometimes the size or magnitude of a story doesn’t matter. This is pretty crucial because it’s what the audience cares about. When you are talking about something that’s important to your audience, they will obviously be more engaged.

Proximity is a fancy word for ‘what’s happening around us’. This could range from global to local. Obviously another important one, because it keeps you informed on what’s going on in your community, and around the world. People need to value what’s happening around us. It’s what paves the path to our futures.

Prominence meaning ‘important people’, everything they say and do makes it into the news. Princess Kate for instance, or Lady Gaga and her ridiculous outfits. Honestly who cares? But then there are people like Obama and Romney, who are a little more important because they also shape our futures.

Last but not least, Oddities. News that’s not quite so ordinary. Which can sometimes be fun. People like hearing about the unusual. It switches things up and keeps things less boring. Which is pretty important in news, because your audience will lose interest if it’s the same old topics over and over.

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