Press Laboratory (261198)

Learning Outcomes

This curricular unit's central objective is to provide students with the basic skills for:
    -    Understanding the complexity of news values (criteria for newsworthiness)
    -    Detection of subjects subject to transformation into news;
    -    Search for different agendas from the traditional news agenda;
    -    Elaboration of journalistic texts in the main genres.
    -    Raise awareness of the complementarity between the text and the photographs/images;
    -    Raise awareness of the suitability and subsequent enhancement of articles on web platforms and other media.

Study Program

1.    WHY IS THE NEWS THE WAY IT IS? Newsability criteria
    Objectivity and subjectivity of “news values”. The mechanisms of “personal action” in the selection and ranking of news.
    Contradictory nature of newsworthiness criteria.
    Non-rigidity and non-universality of newsworthiness criteria.
    Diachronic evolution of newsworthiness criteria.
    The time of non-news

    Universal criteria: moment of the event, intensity, clarity, proximity, surprise, consonance, socio-cultural values.
    Negativity (good news is no news).
    Utility (news you can use).
    Organizational criteria: continuity, composition, predictability, value of images/sounds, costs.

    Wolf's "news values" board
    Criteria related to content (importance and interest of the news);
    Criteria relating to product (that have to do with the availability of information and the characteristics of the informative product); 
    Criteria relating to medium; 
    Criteria relating to public;
    Criteria related to competition.
    The systematization of Teun A. van Djik's “news values”

    Why is the news where it is? (composition)
    Organizational constraints (related to support, available resources).

    In addition to the intrinsic virtualities of the subjects to be reported; the weight of organizational constraints.
    Geographic proximity. The dead-kilometer principle.
    Affective closeness.
    Cultural proximity.
    The amount. The fascination with big numbers and round numbers.
    The social prominence of the subjects involved.
    The prominence of the countries/nations involved.
    “News values” according to the means of dissemination, support, target audience, type of publication (reference newspaper, tabloid newspaper, generalist newspaper, specialized newspaper).
    Specialized publications – the segmented reality.

    Contrast. The bad guy. Return to the past (follow down).
    Photography as news value.
    Chance. The perspective. The fait divers.

    Proposals for revising the traditional table of newsworthiness criteria.
    Other newsworthiness criteria: The previous schedule, impact of the previous schedule, insistence on the previous schedule, help to the schedule, schedule reflecting direct competition.

    Cause journalism.

    Chronic contestation of newsworthiness criteria (why is the news not what we want it to be?)
    Access to the journalistic field. Habitual, disruptive and direct access.
    Publish news or sell illusions?

    The discovery of subjects to report.
    Proactive posture in researching subjects that could be transformed into news.
    The need for alternative agendas, as a prophylaxis for the prevailing news mimicry.
    Commitment to proximity journalism.
    Specificity of the correspondent role.

    From raw material to writing articles covering the main journalistic genres.
    Specifics to be respected depending on the means of dissemination of the articles.
    Different records depending on the territorial scope of a publication.
    Different records depending on the periodicity of dissemination of articles (daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly).

    (It comprises the production of articles/news/reports, etc., material intended to fill a 16-page journal. Such contents will serve for students to page a newspaper in the 3rd year, at the Informative Graphic Design curricular unit)

    Need to “rehabilitate” the “why?”.
    The lead.
    The traditional entrance. Other types of entries.
    Interrogative lead.
    Lead with analepsis (flashback).
    Lead using inter-ownership.

    Entry into direct speech.
    The transition from the traditional lead to the second paragraph of a news/newspaper article.
    The imbrication of the lead with the titular spot that precedes it (anteheading, title, post-title).

    The ellipses as a stylistic resource.
    Use, by the interviewer, of the question mark and ellipses.

    Direct speech.
    Introduction of testimonies in the journalistic text, through the “game” between indirect speech and direct  speech.
    Sentence construction as a decisive issue: shorter texts, shorter sentences, smaller words.
    The elision.
    How to avoid redundancies.
    Rhythm enhancers and clutches in journalistic texts.
    From technique to the art of playing with words.
    The editing.
    Epistolary style.
    Investigative journalism
    Opinion Articles
    “Vox Populi” – Street surveys
    Miscellaneous headings



RICARDO, Daniel. “Ainda bem que me pergunta – O 1.º manual de escrita jornalística editado em Portugal”, Casa das Letras, 2.ª edição, Março 2010
“Livro de Estilo. PÚBLICO”. Edição do jornal Público, 2.ª edição, Lisboa, 2005.
ALVES, Dinis Manuel. “Foi Você que Pediu um Bom Título?”, Quarteto Editora, Coimbra, 2003