What makes a press release newsworthy?

News values, sometimes called as news criteria in some sources, are general guidelines which determine how much prominence a media outlet gives a news story. These values explain why a story interests its audience and why a journalist decides that story is newsworthy.

News is an event that has just happened or will happen in the near future and must concerns people. It is basically the information that people want to hear or need to know. In order to be judged as news, the content must inform, educate or entertain public, be accurate and truthful. Everything that happens around us can be considered as an event. However, not all events have news value.

In order to analyze an event in terms of news value, it is necessary first to understand whether it answers specific questions:

  • Is this an event that has never happened before?
  • Is it up to date or new?
  • Are the famous, well-known names involved?
  • Is the target audience interested in the current event broadcasted by the media?
  • Are there elements in the event that stimulate emotion and curiosity?
  • Does it have a political or social side?
  • Is there any element of conflict?
  • Does it offer scientific knowledge or innovations?
  • Content that can answer these questions means news.


In the 1960s, researchers Johan Galtung and Mari Holmboe Ruge examined news stories worldwide to determine their similarities (Galtung & Ruge, 1965). Still referring to today by journalists and communication experts, this research created the first news values list. News values have evolved over time and currently, 8 values are used to determine a story’s newsworthiness. News values are the elements of a story that journalists use to rapidly assess and determine whether an idea or event is worth sharing with the audience.

Understanding news values will help content creators to develop successful content and SEO strategies. From selecting a catchy idea for the content to conduct research, to design and most importantly, to pitch to journalists, editors and online publishers, these news values are the essential elements to increase newsworthiness.

What are the primary news values?

The elements that are considered as the “news values” may vary depending on the publication, time of publication, cultural characteristics of the public and the policy of publication. But in general, these values are common all around the world. A combination of news values strengthens a story’s newsworthiness and draws a broader audience.

Typical news values are;

  • Timeliness

News gets out of date rapidly. Recent events or stories that have recently taken place or will happen in the near future have higher news value than earlier happenings. Breaking news, seasonal events and holidays are good examples. These events need to be reported as soon as possible.

  • Impact

When an event affects a more significant number of people, it gets more newsworthiness. Health, welfare, transport issues have an impact on the majority of the public. This news generates much public interest.

  • Conflict

Creating content around a conflict directly increases its coverage. These conflicts may be a war, a political conflict, or a sports competition. This kind of events encourages the audience to take sides. Therefore they become emotionally invested in the story, which leads to higher news value.

  • Currency

Events that are already popular among the public and is widely talked about are good examples and indicator of the currency value. Further developments of an event or side stories attract more attention.

  • Unexpected (Bizarre)

Events that are out of the ordinary have more news value than an everyday occurrence. A dog biting a man usually is not news, whereas a man biting a dog is bizarre and have news value.

  • Proximity

An event or a story that takes place in one’s home community has more news value than events that take place far away. Getting more attention from the audience depends on the location of the event.

  • Human interest

People want to read stories about other people. Emotionally compelling stories attract more attention. Happy or sad stories, achievements, stories about food or health grab more public attention.

  • Prominence

Events are more newsworthy when they involve public figures. People like celebrities, politicians, actors or sportsman attract more interest.

How do press releases carry news value?

A press release is the most frequently used communication tool. A press release that enables individuals, institutions or companies to appear in magazines, newspapers, news sites and blogs, is a matter of image and reputation. In order to be considered as news by journalists, a press release must be written in a specific format. Just like news stories, press releases are also written according to some certain rules. If the information contained in the press release is incomplete or inaccurate, it causes a lack of trust in the eyes of the journalists. Press releases should be written in accordance with the 5W1H rule in response to “What, Where, When, How, Why and Who questions.” You can review our blog post titled “How to Write a Press Release” to get more information about the topic.

B2Press is the easiest way to get coverage in the media.

Journalists are looking out for news stories that attract a significant audience. Because of the fact that a journalist approximately gets more than 300 emails per day, discovering which information is newsworthy is not an easy task. Editors and journalists often have a quick look at a press release to decide whether it is newsworthy or not because they have limited time. Press releases that contain unnecessary information or do not clarify certain issues do not carry any news value. Press releases must be written by professionals and need teamwork to get attention from journalists. With the experienced team of Online PR agency B2Press, it is straightforward to get comprehensive coverage in the media.


Content for Impact
Content for Impact
Press release content is created by a team of experts with knowledge about the targeted countries’ local dynamics and by considering newsworthiness. The contents are also checked by senior editors.
Localization Capabilities
Localization Capabilities
Arabic, Chinese or Russian? We got you covered! B2Press online PR agency creates press release content in the languages of the targeted countries. Colloquial expressions, terms and idioms are incorporated by translators.
Detailed Reporting
Detailed Reporting
B2Press provides weekly and monthly reports following distribution of the press release so that you can measure its impact. Advanced search in local search engines provides helpful insights and data for your next press release.
Strong Distribution Network
Strong Distribution Network
Press releases are serviced to lists of journalists, segmented according to their interests as well as through news agencies in the targeted countries.
Brand Awareness
Brand Awareness
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Economical Solution
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