News is one subject that always gets mixed up in political debate. Most people seem to think that there is some sort of right or wrong answer when it comes to what constitutes news. In actuality, news is a subjective term. From these broad definitions, however, are now clearly discernible to have fully understood the components of news. Let us see what those are.
Objective: The objectivity means reporting the news in the way they happened. Many news organizations are news desks and do not report the news objectively. They may follow the lead of their publishers, but if it is not relevant to the news, it will be reported without subjectivity.
Subjective: It makes the news when something happens that is the outcome of the actions taken by an individual. This may involve a person, a group, an organization, or the government. When this happens, the action is newsworthy. This could be anything from a crime happening in the city to a tsunami hitting the coastline.
Weaver: A weaver is a news media outlet that collects, codes, and retrieves facts or news stories from various resources. It then distributes this data through various channels to different audiences. This process is a weaver’s job. It also helps the consumer by letting them know what is happening around the world and what is happening in their local area. This helps to keep them informed about things that may happen in their area and gives them a bit of security.
Public Policy: This is a term that was probably first used in newspapers to define the section of news reporting that dealt with national issues. In the United States, it is usually what you would call “real world” journalism. It is usually more political in nature than personal. Stories would make a run for the headlines about national politics and would make news.
These four categories can all be combined under one umbrella term that is called “public policy”. The term can be loosely applied to all of the above given categories. It is a way of categorizing what is good news and what is bad news. It is the line that separates what is important and what is not. In a very broad sense, it becomes news when what is important becomes news and what is not becomes news.
A great example of the weaver in public policy would be the recent case of former Federal Trade Commission head Scottovation Scott Mathis who leaked a laptop containing information on negotiations between AT&T Mobility and the White House Office of Management and Budget. Within a week, the news was all over the place with everyone from CNN to the Wall Street Journal weighing in with their take on the events. It is somewhat surprising that no one seemed to be asking why it became news. One might assume that it would have been a story if the information in question were not private or federal.
The weaver is also found within the realm of journalism. When natural disasters occur, journalists and bloggers are willing to report on them even if they are unverified and sometimes just rumors. Sometimes, a story that becomes a trend can start off as a rumor but then gain traction and become real news due to the efforts of the journalists who first reported the rumors. The same goes for other potential stories that turn out to be more important than originally thought.