News Values in Journalism Definition, Elements & Examples

News Values – 12 News Values in Journalism Definition & Examples. 

News Values in Journalism

News value in journalism refers to the significant elements of newsworthiness. Journalist focuses on maintaining news values to increase newsworthiness. The news values in journalism are components that strongly affect newsworthiness; therefore, it is also known as the elements of newsworthiness. The importance of news is a common principle determining how media outlets prioritize the news story. The components of newsworthiness set the importance of the news story. 

The 12 news values in journalism are Proximity, Controversy, Personal Influence, Suitability, Impact, Bizarre, Human-Interest, Timeliness, Progress, Genuineness, Completeness, and Negativeness. These elements of newsworthiness determine whether the news is necessary for the readers. They are also called determinants of news. Hence, media practitioners focus on these elements to increase the value of the news long ago.

However, the social and political contexts can affect news values; for example, in North Korea, media outlets can not publish controversial and negative news. In North Korea news media are regulated under the authoritarian theory of the press; therefore, these media are unable to publish information that they want.


Print journalism is one of the primary forms of journalism in mass media, following broadcast and online journalism. It has different forms of journalism: art journalism, investigative journalism, sports journalism, and yellow journalism. The journalists focus on news value to collect and publish news through newspapers. The news value in journalism has become crucial in justifying the importance of the news leads and story. 

News Values in Journalism

The 12 News Values in Journalism are:
  1. Proximity
  2. Personal influence
  3. Controversy
  4. Suitability
  5. Impact
  6. Bizarre
  7. Human Interest
  8. Timeliness
  9. Progress
  10. Genuineness
  11. Completeness
  12. Negativeness

News Values in Journalism- 12 News Values in Journalism Definition & Example. 12 Elements of Newsworthiness.

1. Proximity News Value

Proximity refers to the area of the event where the incident takes place. It also indicates the location of the news event. Proximity is one of the significant news values in journalism. The news event’s proximity or location affects the news’s value. The closer the place is, the more interested you are in reading the information. The readers feel more excited to read the news story if it occurs near them. So, proximity positively affects newsworthiness; hence, it is a significant element. 

Proximity News Example

For example, “Water pollution problem in Johor Bahru.”

Another example of the news value of proximity:

“Local Charity Provides Thanksgiving Meals to Families in Need”

In the heart of our community, a local charity, ‘Hope for All,’ organized a Thanksgiving meal distribution event yesterday, bringing warmth and nourishment to families facing hardship this holiday season. Located just blocks away from our neighborhood, the charity’s volunteers gathered at the community center to assemble and distribute hundreds of turkey dinners with all the trimmings to residents in need.

This story highlights the proximity news value by focusing on an event that directly impacts the local community. By reporting on initiatives like ‘Hope for All,’ which operates within proximity to the readership area, the news story resonates with the audience’s experiences and concerns, fostering a sense of connection and solidarity within the community.

2. Controversy News Value

Controversy means a conflicting news story that adds newsworthiness. It is also known as disagreement of the news event: the more controversial the news, the more critical the report to the readers. Controversy attracts the audiences to read the information, which adds sensation to the news story. People are always eager to identify the truth behind the conflict. So, controversy is another crucial news value in journalism or an element of newsworthiness. 

For example, the BJP minister says that the Taj Mahal was a Shiva temple long ago. Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: explaining media controversy.

3. Personal Influence News Value

Personal influence refers to the prominence of the person to newsworthiness. A famous person always plays a significant role in increasing the news value. Therefore, the media covers well-known people’s news, including politicians, sportspeople, and celebrities. The audiences feel a close connection with their idol people. For example, the followers of Lionel Messi, also a famous football player, will read any news related to Messi. The widest of the personal prominence, the most value the news. The person can be an athlete, artist, politician, or social worker. 

For Example, Profile Feature Article: The Amazing Life of Paul McCartney.

4. Suitability News Value

Suitability denotes the involvement of the public in the topics. The news story is more newsworthy if more people are involved with the issue. It is also known as the much-talked issue in the country. The more people involved, the more value the news in journalism. 

For example, around 30,000 University of Putra Malaysia students have registered for vaccines.

Also, “Many were killed in the crash, 1 million youths gathered in Putrajaya.”

5. Impact News Value

Impact refers to the physical influence of news writing on a large audience. The impact affects the value of news significantly to attract audiences. The more people engaged in the news, add more critical the topic. For example, price hiking has been the most relevant issue to attract people to read any updated news related to the topic. Therefore, News media feel interested in covering any news related to price hiking. It has a significant impact on audiences.

For example, “Inflation cooled last month, but some price hikes continue to cause pain.”

6. Bizarre News Value

Bizzare is a significant element in increasing the value of the news. Bizzare means strange; naturally, people like to read, watch, and talk about weird issues. Therefore, journalists publish strange events to attract audiences. It added value to the news and boosted circulation. 

For Example, “Africa’s Real-Life Mowgli Loves to Live Amid Trees.”

7. Human-Interest News Value

Human-interest news stories get attention from a massive number of people automatically. It includes the much-talked event and issues of the country. International topics have also become human-interest stories due to globalization. For example, during the FIFA World Cup, people worldwide talk about Football everywhere. So, journalists carefully pick a story topic to get more viewers.

For example. “UEFA Euro Cup 2024 final date and match fixure.”

8. Timeliness (Fast News) News Value

Timeliness in journalism means providing information to the audience quickly. The quicker the news is published, the more important getting to the audience. Journalists want to publish news as soon as possible to increase the corporate reputation of the media outlet. The audience gives more importance to the mass media outlet disseminating the news first.

Timeliness is an occasion that enhances the value of news. People do not like to read the same news repeatedly; therefore, news outlets show interest in disseminating information as soon as possible. It is related to current and ongoing events. For example, many newspapers publish news regarding Olympic issues when the event continues. Newspapers will not be interested in disseminating information about the Olympic games when the event ends.

For example, in May 2021, many passengers were injured due to the LRT crash. Many news outlets cover the news to get the audience’s attention. However, people give more importance to the newspapers that publish the news quickly. For example, “Malaysia LRT crash: Train was driven in wrong direction, 6 critically injured”.

9. Progress News Value

Progress news in journalism refers to the sensational update of the current news or events that journalist focuses on to attract more audiences. It adds massive significance to the news story to attract the audience. Progress news is always attractive to the audience for its advancement. The progress news is delivered through press conferences and seminars.

For example, the health ministry disseminates the updated number of COVID-19-affected patients through press conferences. So, it is an example of a progress news story.

10 Genuineness News Value

Genuine news means an authentic story collected from a trustworthy source. People always want to know the facts of the news. The audience determines the authenticity of the news through the genuine witness and trustworthy source of the news.

For example, according to the WHO, 192 million people have been affected by the coronavirus, and 4.13 people have died. Most people will believe this news as the World Health Organization (WHO) disseminates the information via press conferences.

11. Completeness News Value

Complete news includes 5Ws and 1 H news writing methods. The five Ws and one H report writing rules indicate the who, what, when, where, why, and how. A journalist should find all these questions’ answers to make the report comprehensive for the audience. People do not like incomplete news and ambiguous information. Therefore, reporters must focus on the inverted pyramid news-writing formula to produce completed news.  5W and 1 H reporting strategies to make the report more attractive and accepted by the readers.

In conclusion, every reporter needs to follow these four significant elements to make the news more attractive to the audience.

12. Negativeness

Negative news spreads faster than positive. People discuss and share adverse events more than ordinary news. Negative news occurs for a short-term period than positive news. Netizens share this type of news on social media excessively. Therefore, negative news goes viral quickly.

For example, “Katie Price arrested on suspicion of ‘drink driving’ and taken to hospital after crash.”


The 12 news values in journalism are Proximity, Controversy, Personal Influence, Suitability, Impact, Bizarre, Human-Interest, Timeliness, Progress, Genuineness, Completeness, and Negativeness, which increase newsworthiness. Apart from the 12 news values, romance, crime, and technology are other elements.