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News Values: How Editors Determine the News


 Time: Approximately 60 minutes

 Materials: Computer with internet connection

 Prerequisites: Internet Explorer; Microsoft Word or comparable word processing program such as WordPerfect or AmiPro.

 Implementation: This RWLO can be used either in the classroom or as an independent learning exercise to teach students the criteria editors use to determine if an event is news worthy.


  1. Tell students to access and click on the “What Makes News” link and view the PowerPoint presentation by clicking on each of the numbered titles in left column on the screen.
  2. After viewing PowerPoint presentation, students should complete the News Qualities Definition Exercise found at
  3. After viewing PowerPoint, students should use the internet to visit news web sites to find news stories that demonstrate each of the eight news qualities explained in the PowerPoint presentation.
  4. Students should write in information in “News Qualities Rubric.” The News Qualities Rubric is found at
  5. Students should attach the completed definition exercise and rubric to an e-mail message and send to the instructor for evaluation.