Fri, 10 May 2024 Feature Article

Six Smart News (Media) Values that are Key to Continued Stakeholder Engagement

Six Smart News (Media) Values that are Key to Continued Stakeholder Engagement

The media industry is a broad and mass life transforming field that can be mutually beneficial to all its stakeholders, since when well managed, it is the source of information for critical and strategic decisions by many individuals and institutions across the globe.

The actions taken by many people and organisations across the world are influenced by the information that they get especially in the form of news through various platforms including newspapers, radio, television and online publications.

Such a fact has over the years provided a mutually beneficial platform to many stakeholders including the news publishers, readers, businesses and non profit organisations who all utilise the same platform for their respective different reasons.

Readers utilise news platforms to get a wide range of information that they can use in their planning be it for career, travels, relationships, security and investments among others.

On the other hand, businesses and other institutions do consider newspaper sales, online traffic, radio listenership and television viewership when deciding on the platform to use for advertising their products.

The news publishers themselves make their money from these adverts, online clicks and sales of newspapers among other sources of their revenue.

As such, the reality and prospect to profit from news publication has caused a continued increase in the number of players in the media industry who would like to at least have a slice of the cake of media profits.

Based on the above narrative, it is therefore important for news publishers to reconsider the matrix of news values that they adopt because these values determine the number of audience and advertisers that they get and thus determining viability, profitability and expansion.

In this contemporary world where people across the continents are getting smarter every day, it is critically important for news publishers to also get smart and adopt news values that relate with smart people who are so particular about the quality and value of information that they consume.

This is the reason why I have come up with a set of news values that I consider to be SMART because they help people make quick and effective decisions about their personal lives and their institutions while ensuring viability and profitability to the media industry.

These six smart news values are based on the following questions:

a) Emotional — does the issue/story address the emotions, does it affect personal, group or societal mood, and does it have anything to do with happiness or sadness?

b) Change of Status — does the issue/story talk about or result in an upgrade or downgrade, progress or recession, success or failure

c) Opportunities and Threats — does the issue/story talk about immediate or future danger, victory (gains) or losses, potential or weakness

d) Solution or problem — does it talk about or result in problems or solutions, better or worse outcomes, heroes and villains

e) Mystery — does the issue/story talk about or address issues beyond ordinary human comprehension, is the issue a mystery buster or brings about a mysterious phenomenon?

f) Societal Impact — does the issue/story talk about issues and circumstances that affect people on a grand scale whether in the short or long run

Starting, establishing and expanding a media institution, especially a news house, based on these values will ensure that there is a continued stakeholder engagement because such values address the issues that affect human life across all age groups in different societies every day.

People in their diversity across the world, want a media (news) platform which ensures that their concerns are addressed, their emotions are attended to, their dreams are made true, their victories and successes are celebrated, and their potential and immediate danger is eliminated or mitigated.

On emotions, people must be given a platform to express their feelings and be given insight on how to deal with emotions as they arise.

The same applies to the issue of status in the sense that in the ups and downs of life, success or failure may be encountered, as such, there is a need for a platform that talks about how to upgrade and manage a good status and how to handle a decline as it manifests.

A media or news platform must also be able to broadcast opportunities to various people as they arise and also warn people about issues and circumstances that pose an actual and potential danger to life and property so that losses may be avoided while status and emotions are protected.

When the above is being addressed, the news platform will be partly and automatically addressing the issues to do with problems and solutions.

More so, people in their generality are quite often existing as a collective, be it as a family, workmates, schoolmates, church mates or even fellow citizens among other possible groupings, as such, issues that affect them as a grouping needs to be addressed effectively and as a matter of urgency.

Issues and circumstances that affect a large grouping of people at once e.g. disease outbreak, natural disasters and even war among others has a greater appeal to readers and thus must be considered critical in the operative dynamics of media institutions.

Failure to fine tune a media approach based on these media or news values in this contemporary world is likely to render a media house irrelevant, non viable and unprofitable at the commercial expense of its investors and emotional expense of other stakeholders.

News values are quite dynamic across geography and time but the ones listed here seek to give a media platform some timeless relevance and provide value to its wide range of stakeholders.

Brian Kazungu is an Author, Media Practitioner, Entrepreneur and an Opinion Leader.

(Website:, @BKazungu — Twitter

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