News values was the topic for last weeks lecture and it was the most interesting of the course so far. It's difficult to articulate what makes a story newsworthy, but many people have tried to dissect pasts trends in news stories so they can clarify what 'newsworthiness' is. This was explained to us by Bruce, who showed us some 'criteria' for newsworthiness from different scholars in the field of media. Criterion such as timeliness, proximity and impact where a common factor among these lists of criteria.
Almost all news stories don't even need to be critically evaluated in order to determine whether or not it is newsworthy. Good editors and producers of media outlets - the people in charge of which stories are covered - have an intuitive eye for newsworthiness. Major events such as 9/11 and Invasion of Iraq are the pinnacle of newsworthiness, since there very nature affects everyone in America, and the western world for that matter.
It also depends on the audience of the media outlet. Gossip magazines have a different criteria of newsworthiness than late-night political television programming. The former heavily focuses on celebrities, seeing sex scandals, weddings and break-ups as being the most publishable while the latter sees wars, diplomatic affairs and national issues as the most newsworthy and therefore 'air-able'.