Rethinking News Writing: A Question of RBA versus VBA

Rethinking News Writing: A Question of RBA versus VBA

In one of the previous analyses, our analyst notes that the Nigerian news media need to consider news as a product not as a content. Readers and listeners are being denied the opportunity of deriving the needed value when they are exposed to mere presentation of the expected 5W’s and H, news values, headlines and quoting the newsmakers directly and indirectly.

This, according to our analyst, is the appropriation of resource-based approach without consideration of value-based approach in addition. Though, in our experience, it emerged that Nigerian news media are picking manifest and latent issues or needs from the newsmakers’ views and other sources, and framing them towards setting certain agendas to the public, it is obvious that they are misusing their framing and agenda-setting power. This is more pronounced when conflicts and violence are being reported.

Our analyst notes that using value-based approach in addition to the resource-based approach or without it has greater benefits for the audience. VBA entails the inclusion of 5W’s and H, news values, headline, headline analysis using impression and engagement factors for choosing an appropriate headline, emotional measurement using fear, anger, sadness, joy and value proposition [this has been discussed in the previous analysis] are key resources of the VBA.

Catering for the audience information urge using RBA is not enough. Application of VBA offers mental, emotional and inclusive peace benefits rather than conflict-induced values being presented through RBA in most cases. During the trending period of the emergence of Sunday Igboho as a ‘protector’ of victims of insecurity in Oke-Ogun in Oyo State, Sahara Reporters wrote “Ooni Is My Father, I Hold Him in High Esteem – Sunday Igboho.” Reporting the same event/information, The Punch said “I hold Ooni in high esteem, says Sunday Igboho.”

With 69 score out of expected 100 score, Sahara Reporters engaged audience more than The Punch which had 66 score. In terms of creating a lasting impression on the audience, Sahara Reporters also led with 51 while The Punch had 45 score. Despite the difference, the two newspapers were succeeded in creating fear with attainment of the same score of 62. In terms of sadness, Sahara Reporters had 61 while The Punch had 62. These insights indicate that using part of the VBA, these newspapers ensured mental and emotional benefits. Our analyst notes that the newspapers want the public to understand that Ooni should be respected and that Sunday Igboho regretted his action.

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