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How well known are the people involved in the story? If the people involved are well known to local readers, or are well known on a national level, readers will be more interested in the news. Think about how things celebrities do are often big news, but if you or your neighbors did the same thing it probably wouldn't be news at all...that's prominence at work.
Location, location, location. If the event is happening close by, it will impact local readers more than if it is happening across town, or across the world. Watch a local newscast when a tragedy or disaster strikes. Chances are they'll mention if any local people were killed or injured...that's proximity.
If something is happening NOW, it has more impact than something that happened yesterday or last week. No one wants to read old news, so start off with the newest development to keep readers interested.
Think Weekly World News and Ripley's Believe It or Not. If something is unusual, the oddity alone can make it newsworthy, because people want to know why it has happened.
An event or decision with consequence is one that will affect readers' lives in some way. The bigger the impact, the more readers will want to know about it. That's why big businesses laying off workers, construction projects that will cause detours and traffic slowdowns, distracted driving laws, and food recalls are news -- they will make a difference in people's lives, and they need to know how they will be affected.
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