Throughout the semester, the “Introductions to Public Relations” class at St. John Fisher College has been learning various public relations tactics and concepts. An important part of the class was devoted the Universal News Values. We had multiple class discussions on these and I believe that they were very interesting, especially considering the state of America’s news media. After much thought on the current news media and what makes “good” news, I predict that while most of these values will stay the same, as society continues to advance and understand the uses and impacts all these technologies can have, two of these will change, therefore changing the news industry for the better.
The change in the news and the media is coming. Currently, the media skews how they produce and show the news. They target smaller demographics and package the news to appeal to that group. Fox news appeals to conservatives and republicans while MSNBC targets liberals and democrats. Giving the people what they “want” may be good for ratings and viewership, however it keeps people caught up in their own world and are rarely exposed to anything different. Viewers can watch the same story and here too different things. Even with online news, people are becoming cautioned when reading. One does not know if they are getting facts, getting what the media wants you to believe, or getting something the media knows you want to hear.
The younger generation has become weary to all of these tactics and trickery. I believe this is attributed to their greater knowledge of technology and the Internet. Either way, this is causing a vast majority of the public to shy away from channels and sources such as these. Therefore, I believe in the future Universal News Values will have to change in order to get more ratings and viewership. While the fastest way to get breaking news is the Internet, I still believe television news will still remain a great component of the news industry. These Universal News Values will change for both sources regardless.
The first value I believe will change is Negativity. This is the idea that bad news is more newsworthy than good news. While I understand that bad news will have to be covered, my generation especially is sick of hearing only bad news. I believe we have begun to turn away from it. I personally, and I know that most people I talk to these days like to seek out the good news. The next value that will change is Time Constraints. While television and other traditional news sources will still face them, online news has become huge in recent years. There are absolutely no time constraints online.
I understand of course most of these news values will stay the same, such as conflict, references to elite persons or nations, and competition will all stay the same, the public is becoming weary of these current news practices of the mainstream media. There is becoming a smaller and smaller group of “hardcore” conservatives or liberals that only watch these channels. Once more people understand the impact the media has on people, they will begin to shy away and be more aware of who they are getting there information from.