What makes news?

This resource was commissioned for the event, When Religion Makes the News, but it applies to anyone working in communications or PR.

A story is newsworthy when one or more of the following apply:

  • It is new
  • It is novel
  • It relates to famous people
  • It is directly important to many people
  • It involves conflict
  • It involves mystery or is confidential
  • It pertains to the future
  • It involves human interest

It must be deemed of interest to the journalists’ readers, viewers, listeners…

An ‘exceptional’ event is also news

Depending on the medium, other issues can make news:

  • New development or initiative
  • New staff appointments
  • Community involvement
  • Sponsorship deal
  • Staff charity day
  • Open day, public event
  • Famous visitor
  • New product or service
  • Personal achievement of individual
  • Grand opening by personality
  • Interesting new customer/supplier
  • The numbers game, ie. 10th birthday, one million customers
  • Announcing future plans
  • Organised publicity stunt

They will use your press release if…

  • It is newsworthy or topical
  • It is controversial
  • It fits into ‘their day’
  • It is funny or quirky (perhaps)
  • It makes good pictures
  • It fills a gap
  • It fits one of their campaigns

And… if they are short of news.


Copyright of the author, Christine Warwick, PR consultant


NUJ Training Cymru Wales