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Understanding News by John Hartley

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5  SELECTION AND CONSTRUCTION

News values

Imagine a football game. The players are on the field going about the business of football. Their behaviour is full of purpose (to contain the initiatives of the other side and to gain the advantage for their own), and it is ordered, with shared rules, conventions and styles governing the unpredictable immediacy of the run of play. The spectators, for whom all this energy is expended, are absorbed in watching.

But on the sideline, player number twelve wants to get on to the pitch to take part, and to be seen by the spectators. How is the substitution to be done? If he leaps about, gesticulating wildly, his frantic antics might be noticed as a distraction and an amusement, but they won’t get him on. To ...

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