WEEK 3: Which key elements influence newsworthiness on an online news site?

According to Conley, news value or newsworthiness is measured by the eight components of impact, conflict, timeliness, proximity, prominence, currency, human interest and the unusual (Conley, p. 42). While many of these principles apply to traditional print-based stories, they also are relevant to on-line journalism.

Unlike hard copy print however, online news can be accessed any time of the day or night (Hirst and Harrison 2007, p.81) Due to on-line news operating on a twenty-four hour basis, the timeliness factor is crucial and more so, if the news item happens to be an exclusive one (Conley, p.46). The uploaded story has to be continually updated however, and that is where the element of currency applies (Conley, p.51). When a topic is in the public sphere for a time, it has currency, and the more controversial or trendy, the more it remains on the public radar (Conley, p.51). The criteria is to expand the story coverage in greater creativity and depth, unlike the limitations of newspapers and television news (Pryor, 2006).

This can be handled by including video coverage or clips of current events and games (Pryor, 2006). The news value of conflict is evident as it attracts and holds user attention (Conley, p.45). Controversial video clips, as proven by the recent coverage of a bully victim turning the tables on his tormentor, invite user/viewer commentary and messages. These additions also assist in keeping the topic current and fresh.

While the timeliness and currency elements are critical to online journalism, and conflict invites curiosity and interest,
technological additions have to be incorporated to maintain and sustain the continually updated articles and the demands of twenty-four hours and seven days of the week coverage.


Conley, David 2002, The Daily Miracle: An Introduction to Journalism 2E, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne

Hirst, Martin & Harrison, John 2007, Communication and New Media: From Broadcast to Narrowcast, Oxford
University Press, South Melbourne

Pryor, Larry 2006, Teaching the future of journalism in The Online Journalism Review

Viewed March 2011




Category: Travel News

Walk Safely to School Day 201

By Wendy Robinson

Health Initiative: Walk Safely To School Day 2011

Primary school children across Australia, are encouraged to participate in the 12th Walk Safely to School Day (WSSD) promotion on Friday 20 May.

The idea is to encourage children to walk daily to and from school, to help prevent obesity or other health issues.

Brian Davies and his daughters, Rebecca and Charlotte, always walk to school on WSSD and plan on participating again
this year.

“It’s great the kids realise they don’t have to be driven everywhere,” he said

WSSD promotes the message: Active Kids are Healthy Kids,  to encourage Australian children to lead a more active and healthier lifestyle.

Photo source: Walk Safely to School Day site.

Category: State News

By Wendy Robinson

NSW Health coughs up for vaccinesCoughing

NSW Health are extending the free whopping cough vaccine program for infants, their families and carers, until at least the end of this year.

Young mother Kim Gregory learns about the immunisation program from education campaigns and pamphlets, and is grateful that it is provided free of charge.

“I don’t think I would ordinarily bother as I thought I was protected for life.

“It gives me peace of mind but I would encourage the government to extend the free offer indefinitely,” she said.

Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a respiratory infection that can potentially lead to pneumonia and possibly, brain damage in babies.

Category: National News

By Wendy Robinson

Police Initiative: Operation Unite

The NSW Police, State Coroner and the Trauma surgery team, are taking action against alcohol-related and anti-social behaviour, from Friday 13 to Saturday 14 May.

The blitz, entitled ‘Operation Unite,’ and led by Assistant Commissioner Denis Clifford, will cover all Australian states and territories and will include New Zealand.

“We are looking for people who drink irresponsibly.

“Our objective is to prevent alcohol-related violence and we’re doing our best to stamp out the behaviour.

“It is heartbreaking for me to read reports where police are required to knock on someone’s door to tell them one of their loved ones has either been killed or laying in an induced coma in hospital as a result of alcohol-related violence or the stupidity of people drinking and driving,” he said.

Trauma and Vascular surgeon Dr John Crozier refers to alcohol consumption as an unhealthy culture, and states that alcohol-related deaths are common to both Australia and New Zealand.

“In 2005, 367 people died in Australia alone,” he said.

And according to NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione, 14 thousand victims were hospitalised in the same year.

“The violence following drinking is a significant issue in our society.

“Having excess alcohol clouds people’s judgement and control,” he said.

NSW State Coroner, Magistrate Mary Jerram urges people to heed the warnings.

“When people end up at the coroners, that is the last stop.

“I see dead people whose alcohol readings are .3 and more.

“It is unbelievable when you think high-range drink-driving is .15, and for someone to get to .3 and more, is just extraordinary,” she said.

Commissioner Scipione warns drinkers to act responsibly and to keep themselves safe.

“You don’t want to end up here, or just as importantly, you don’t want your loved ones ending up here,” he said.

According to Commissioner Scipione, the 2005alcohol-related fatality figures have escalated.

“They have developed to such a point that commissioners have said, ‘We’ve had enough’,” he said.

Commissioner Scipione refers to a recent survey conducted among offenders of alcohol-related crimes in New South Wales, and quotes the alarming alcohol consumption figures recorded.

“The average for all ages was 14 drinks prior to the offence.

“For the ages 18 to 25, it was 22 drinks before they got to the point where they were involved in an altercation which then led to the court process,” he said

While he advises parents to educate their children to change their cultural attitude, Magistrate Jerram questions the extent of influence parents have over their children .

“I don’t know that parental control is as it was.

“We don’t want to have inquests as to how or why some other young person died either in a fight, or because they were so drunk that they ran in front of a car, or because they were drink driving.

“I’ve seen too many grief-stricken families in my court over the years trying to make sense of  a night that claimed their loved-one as a result of excessive drinking,” she said.

“I don’t think you can legislate commonsense,” Commissioner Scipione said.

According to the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation report, there are in excess of 70,000 Australian victims of alcohol-related attacks, annually.

In terms of alcohol-fuelled domestic violence, the 2005 figures show that 20,000 children were sufferers of substantiated alcohol-related violence.

Assistant Commissioner Clifford will have a range of specialist units, including the Mounted Police; Dog Squad; Highway Patrol; Computer Crime Unit; Aviation Support Branch; Public Order and Riot Squad (PORS); and the Marine Area Command, assisting with Operation Unite.

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione

NSW State Coroner, Magistrate Mary Jerram

Video Source: Youtube NSW Police

Mosquito biteCategory: Environment News

By Wendy Robinson

Public Health Warning on Mosquito-Borne Diseases

The NSW Health Department has issued a warning to the public, to protect themselves from mosquito-borne diseases, especially during Easter when many families tend to camp or use outdoor facilities.

According to Westmead Senior Scientist Dr Stephen Doggett, in his video message, people should avoid bushland, wetlands, swamps, wildlife habitats, the peak hours of dusk to dawn, and apply protective repellents containing Diethyl Toluamide (DEET).

He warns that the Murray Valley Encephalitis can be fatal.

Communicable Diseases Manager, Deshamie, claims that although there have been some cases in the Hornsby district, the infections occurred elsewhere.

“There have however, been no deaths in the last few years,” she said.


Photo source: WA News

Category: Entertainment News

By Wendy Robinson

The pride of Erin

Erin McNaught, speaks openly about her modelling and life experiences at the Westfield Chatswood Fashion Friday event, held on May 13.

The former Miss Australia, tells a fan approaching for career advice to focus only on her strong points.

“I wasn’t aware of my strengths; I only thought of my flaws,” she said.

Interviewer and stylist Trish Murray asks her about the significance of a tattoo on her inner left wrist.

“I got the swallow tattoo after a breakup and it signifies new beginnings.

“Other women go for a good haircut but I got a tattoo instead,” McNaught said.

International Judges: BBoy Blond & Hideboo

By Wendy Robinson

Category: Arts News

Tension is high between Floorchestra and TBC in the final bout of the B-Boying contest at the Chatswood Youth Centre on Saturday 30th April.

Floorchestra  leader Gisang, and his crew, are competing for the $300 prize.

“It’s not about making money but making a name for yourself.

“It is my dream to go international,” he said.

While International, Korean guest judge B-Boy Blond has seen an improvement in the Australian scene, he is urging break-dancers to keep practicing their techniques and style if they want to impress the judges.

“I don’t want to see the same material.

“I’m always looking for fresh moves,” he said.

TBC wins.