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What Is News?

News is what people don't want you to print. Everything else is ads.William Randolph Hearst


News:  Information the public expects to be factual and accurate. . . .  PBS Teachers’ Guide


News:  To capture the audience's attention, news also focuses on and emphasizes the dramatic rather than the dull. It tells a story, after all, and feels compelled to make its stories interesting. . . . Lawrence K. Grossman, former president of PBS and of NBC News

News Release Tips

  • Don’t send out a release when your switchboard is closed unless you include a direct-contact phone number.


  • When issuing releases to wire services, improve the likelihood, speed and accuracy of pickup by following these tips:


— Do be nearby the phone when your release is issued.


— Don’t list just an e-mail address in the release for contact purposes, since confirmation will likely be by phone.


News:  Anything that interests a large part of the community and has never been brought to its attention before. - Charles A. Dana, editor of the New York Sun

News:  What changes people's behavior. -Marty Schenker, executive editor, Bloomberg "Top News"


News: What helps people make decisions. —Melvin Mencher, Columbia J-School professor

News is what I say it is. It's something worth knowing by my standards.--David Brinkley, former NBC news anchor and commentator 

'News is what I say it is.' That's the way it was in the old school. --Tom Bettag, former ABC executive producer of "Nightline"


News organizations are trimming operations and devoting more time and space to pop culture because it attracts consumers. Very few are investing in more, deeper and better journalism, because readers and viewers don't choose it.--Ralph Begleiter, a former CNN correspondent, in a letter in the New York Times, 10/20/15  

'Education is entertaining.' How I wish more people in today's television news believed this. --Dave Marash, a longtime news correspondent and anchor for media including, formerly, ABC's "Nightline" and Al Jazeera English, responding in part to Begleiter.

News:  Reporters "are more interested in the meaning of facts than in the facts themselves. They're concerned with interpretation rather than accuracy, . . ."  --Barton Swaim, columnist, in The Wall Street Journal 
"Crises often transform the broadly accepted rules of media. And for a century they’ve pulled news toward emotion and connection. . . .The coronavirus crisis has accelerated trends in American TV.  . . . The old model for authority in public affairs, of course, is a man in a suit and a tie behind a desk. . . . Meanwhile, Mr. Zucker’s CNN is taking TV news in the other direction, toward reality television and Instagram, winning trust through the projection of a rough-cut realness. The Cuomos aren’t just feeling your pain. You’re feeling theirs." --Ben Smith, The New York Times

"Agenda-driven reporting on the news is on the rise; news and opinion are increasingly blended; and, not surprisingly, trust in the media has reached a new low.”—Almar Latour, publisher, The Wall Street Journal

— If you’re not a large cap, do avoid releasing earnings the same day as a Microsoft.


— Don’t have your secretary say you’re in a meeting and unavailable when the confirmation call comes.


— Do avoid scheduling releases for issuance at the top and bottom of the hour to maximize the number of headlines and minimize the risk of errors.


— Don’t use cute or vague headlines.


— Do put the company’s name in the headline.



— Don’t bury the bad news if you value credibility.




— Do avoid issuing releases between 4:00 p.m. and 4:10 p.m. when volume is high.




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