10 Factors that determine newsworthiness

Dennis Toh

Always wonder what makes news? If you are a trying to get publicity for yourself or your business, the following 10 points will be helpful for you. 

Today we are going to understand the 10 factors that determine newsworthiness.


Location, location, location: If an event occurs nearby, it will have a greater impact on the audience than if it occurs elsewhere that does not affect them as much, such as in another state or country.


A well-known person, place, or event has a stronger news angle than something unfamiliar to the audience. A guest speaker visiting your local elementary school to take over story time is unlikely to pique the interest of many people... unless that speaker is Oprah or ex-President Obama.


Recent events have a greater impact than events from yesterday or last week. When there is always new news somewhere, the news media quickly loses interest, and past events become stale.


If something is unusual, shocking, or bizarre, the oddness alone may be enough to make it newsworthy.


If an event has a direct impact on readers, they will want to know about it. The Covid-19 Pandemic has a direct impact on our lives, and that’s why the news agenda has been hogging the media scene since.


Disagreements, arguments, and rivalries always pique the interest of audiences. Many consumers will be interested in an event if it has a conflict attached to it. Let us not forget that it is human nature to take sides and defend those positions. Remember the Lee Family Feud?

Human Interest

If a situation elicits an emotional response, it may contain the news element of a human-interest story. These stories can be "soft" kid-at-the-zoo snapshots, inspiring comeback stories, or infuriating reports of a public figure's incompetence.


If you can legitimately claim to be the first, best, longest, smallest, or highest, reporters and audiences may be interested. Take care. Do not overemphasize it, create hyperbole, or make exaggerated claims. Dishonesty will come back to bite you here.


Everyone despises the philandering congressman who sends inappropriate photos under a ridiculous virtual handle. Reporters want the inside scoop on a scandal. Think Tiger woods or Edison Chen.


Whether it's the Hong Kong protest or a plane crash, the more people involved in the event, the more newsworthy it is. Similarly, the number of people affected by the event, whether it's a change in the minimum wage or retrenchment of a major company, will influence its newsworthiness.targeted at them purchases will be important objectives for direct marketing.

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An academic, PR Professional and Actor, Dennis graduated from NTU, Wee Kim Wee School of Communications and Information with a Master of Mass Communications in 2006. He has been teaching marketing and mass media subjects for the last 10 years. Before entering into academia, he was the marketing head for a Specialist Healthcare Company.

He has taught in Curtin Singapore, Temasek Polytechnic, MDIS, MIS, IPRS and Aventis School of Managament.

He was an ex owner of Feet Haven Reflexology, a foot massage business, and runs a social media network, The Influencer Network.

Dennis has been actively involved in the acting and modeling scene in Singapore in the last 5 years. Recently, he wrote a book '101 ways to get publicity for success' in 2019.