Why am I looking at this?

On the first day of this class I was sad to see there weren’t any photographers present to capture my first steps in this classroom. In contrast to princess Alexia, nobody cared about my bike ride to university. But why were readers extremely interested in seeing Alexia’s first steps in high school and why do people want to know what prince George was wearing when his father walked him to school for the first time? A journalist explains in AD why princes Alexia is so normal and why we should treat her like that. This article (€) covers two pages and features photo’s of her outfit. Why is this news?

Galtung and Ruge presented twelve factors that should explain why events become news (65-68). The factor that could describe the news value of these photo’s is ‘reference to elite people’. Galtung and Ruge argue that elite people, like royal children, serve as object of identification (68). “The elite can be used in a sense to tell about everbody” (Galtung & Ruge 68). But does this single factor explain the gigantic news coverage on these two events?

The factors by Galtung and Ruge were written in 1965 and a lot has changed since then. That is why Harcup and O’Neill reviewed the news factors by Galtung and Ruge and made some changes. Their research showed that ‘Entertainment’ and ‘Reference to something positive’ were new factors (247). Both examples of Alexia and George are great photo opportunities for news media, and both stories are very positive and relatable. The combined factors explain why these stories were so big in the international media. And it probably explains why nobody cares about my first day at school.

Steve van Velzen

Galtung, Johan and Mari Holmboe Ruge. “The
Structure of Foreign News” Journal of Peace
Research 2.1 (1965): 64-91. Print.

Harcup, Tony and Deirdre O’Neill. “What Is News?
Galtung and Ruge revisited.” Journalism Studies 2:2
(2001): 261-280. Print.

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