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Closeness = newsworthy?

“The closer to home, the more newsworthy it is,” said Gary Hudson & Sarah Rowlands in their book The broadcast journalism handbook.

While having dinner, I watched the 19:00 news reporting on BBC News channel. As far as I remember, there was only one non-UK story: the trial of Karadzic in Hague. Other stories included investigation of a crashed RAF plane, swine flu vaccination, scale back on terrestrial army budget cut, etc. There was also sports news and weather forecast.

I was wondering what happened in the other parts of the world? How could it be that only Karadzic was included in this one-hour news reporting? English people really did not care about the rest of the world?

If you watch news reporting on in the US, you’ll notice the same thing.

Could this be because UK and US are developed countries, with one as the ex-center of the universe and the other the present center of the universe? 

This reminded me of the news reporting back in my home country China. There is news reporting from 18:00-19:00. With advertising, sports and weather contents deducted, the actual news time lasts about 40 minutes. Guess what is the proportion of national news and local news to international news? 1:1. There are 20-minute reporting of world news. Strangely, the audience-reaching rate during the international news time is higher than that in national & local news time.

Is it true that “The closer to home, the more newsworthy it is”?

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  1. October 28, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    i guess that it’s a cultural thing, most european news give prominence to the home country’s news … but we are seeing a shift away from this tradition. some channels have bulletins wholly dedicated to foreign news.

    but i agree, can proximity be equated with newsworthiness nowadays, especially in this country where u find so many different nationalities?

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