News, as part of the Media, are portrayed with the main objective of “selling”, attracting and appealing to the public effectively. In order to achieve this, News have got a sequence of requisites and procedures that must be carefully followed. Whether it is through newspapers, magazines or television, the news have a very active and important role in society and the way they are represented influence on people’s perceptions and reactions to different aspects of life.News are not, as many people think, just put there casually, they are thoroughly selected and constructed with an intentional purpose. They are conveniently placed according their importance, content and likeness to attract the public.
There is not such thing as a “no news days”, as newspapers and TV programmes need to be filled and presented in a daily basis with the latest up-to-date events, because old news, as we might easily deduce is no news at all. The “editor” or “gatekeeper” is the person who decides what goes into the news and how it goes.This person selects the information he/she considers most relevant and works with a specialised team at the centre of a web of lines organisations, picking up all sorts of information provided by differences sources. To ensure they always have a wide range of new stories to write about, new organisations set up contacts (like foreign correspondents) and may cover predictable events or use data provided by other organisations seeking publicity. All the information used is mainly provided by news agencies (like Reuters), press releases, emergency services, diary stories, journalists’ contacts and other media.Information used in politics is often collected from the “lobby system”, where journalists are given unattributable information from the government, usually from people like the Prime Minister’s Chief Press Secretary and other individuals in charge of giving press releases on behalf of the MP’s.
News can also be obtained from individuals known as “mavericks”, which sell stories to the news media that offers them the highest bid, especially scandalous ones.Usually people seeking fame or money go to a maverick with a story, then the maverick prepares it for publication and offers it to the news organisation willing to pay the highest amount of money for the exclusive. As previously stated, there are many different resources from where news are collected and processed, and many sources often reflect the distribution of power in society, as larger and well organised publicity departments are more likely to be heard than smaller organisations with poor public relations.Nevertheless the best stories can sometimes come from maverick individuals or other smaller organisations that aim to change the status quo and cause stir amongst society. That is precisely why we must ask ourselves where the information has come from and whether it has been manipulated in favour of some specific organisation or to what extent it has been distorted to benefit anyone in particular.
The news media must always beware of being hoaxed and offered false information, sometimes from people that have been unknowingly misinformed, others maliciously intentional or others simply seeking cash or publicity.