The Times story:G-spot is a myth
Frontpage news on The Sunday Times: What an anti-climax: G-spot is a myth. What qualities does this story have that earned itself a place on the frontpage?
A new research reveals that the universally believed G-spot in women’s vagina doesn’t exist at all. It’s imaginary in the first place, then reinforced by media reporting and experts’ talking.
As you can see, this piece of news takes the lower left space, accompanied by stories of failed terror attack, public pay and MP staying above law stories on the front page.
The G-spot myth is not the topic of this post, but its news value triggers some thinking.
What makes news?
It’s boring to talk about ‘criteria’ without looking at real stories. So let’s see what values this G-spot story has got.
I’ll go through the list of news values I learned from school and tick where it fits:
- conflict. √
Some say there isn’t; some insist there is. Both sides argue in the story.
Except for those too young or too old, people are sort of related to the news, married or unmarried.
- threat to public safety.
Well, maybe yes, maybe no. Hard to tell.
- public interest.
Not this one but the next one.
- human interest. √
- entertaining. √
Absolutely. Full stop.
- Big name involvement.
This is where the journalist can improvement on the story. LoL~
- unusual. Half √
It’s not usual, at least.
- impact. Half √ again.
Don`t know what kind of impact there will be. Maybe positive for some, but negative for others.
- exclusive story.
- topical. √
You want to hear about it, but you might feel shy to talk about it.
- juicy. √
A lot, isn’t it?
If a story has any one of these values, it could have become news worth publishing or broadcasting.
This G-spot story has 7 out of 15. Wow, didn’t realize that before. Nearly half !
Surely it is news, and a piece of good news. I have to agree with the editor to put it on the frontpage.
Readers decide contents
Was I joking when talking about news values just now? Maybe.
But the interesting thing is that this story has never been published on the front page of Times Online. There is nowhere to find it no matter how deep you scroll down the page. You have to search.
By my guess, Times Online readers don’t change much on weekends from weekdays. Almost the same group of people visit the site looking for the kinds of news they are familiar with.
This G-spot story, as categorized on the site under ‘science’ channel, might not appeal to news readers.
But for the print version delivered to home, people read it for relaxation. It’s weekend anyway. People need something soft, interesting, fun, surprising, or anything but serious.
It is readers who decide what the contents should be.
The Times did a good job in this sense, didn’t they?
PS: Do click G-spot is a myth on the Times site to see the picture they use. This is a good example where pictures say more than words.