Week 3 – 2. Inquiry: Review an event or issue

Review an event or issue of interest to you that has been published in different media – one broadcast, one online, and one print.

Consider the lead paragraph in each story. Are they different? If so, how? Is there a difference in news values? If so, which news values are prevalent in which story? Why does the story interest you?

The issue that I have decided to discuss is that of Tony Burke’s usage of political travel entitlements, and I have decided to use a newspaper article, a video clip of a news report, and an online article.


1. ‘Come fly with me: Burke’s world tour with the staffer who became his partner’

Lead: Italy and Spain were the favoured destinations of Tony Burke when he embarked on a ministerial travel extravaganza that included first-class flights, with senior staffer Skye Larris, who is now his partner.


2. ‘Tony Burke under fire over family trip’ 

Lead: He led the attack on Bronwyn Bishop’s spending habits, but Tony Burke now admits he’s no saint.


3. ‘Tony Burke to repay $90 but stands by $12,000 family trip to Uluru’

Lead: Labor frontbencher Tony Burke says his family’s $12,000 business class trip to Uluru was “beyond community expectations” but is standing by the claim, although he will repay $90 in travel expenses he claimed to attend a Robbie Williams concert. 

The three leads are all rather different in my opinion, and this is due to the fact that all three of these types of media all put different news values as their priority.

In the first story, which was a print copy of a newspaper article, it can be seen that proximity, impact and prominence are some of the news values prevalent, which aligns with what Whitaker, Ramsey and Smith suggest (2012, p.21). As the Australian is one of the main national newspapers, the proximity has been achieved as the story involves an Australian Prime Minister. The prominence news value is also prevalent as Tony Burke is well known due to his status as a Labor MP and Shadow Minister for Finance (Burke, 2015). The lead is rather long and uses highly descriptive language, as timeliness is not considered of high importance in print media. The language is used to build suspense about what exactly Burke had done wrong, and the reader expects the author to go into detail about the issue, as a print journalist’s responsibility is to act as a government ‘watchdog’ (Whitaker, Ramsey & Smith, 2012, pp. 21-22).

The second story was a broadcast of a news story on 7 News. This media highly values timeliness, human interest and conflict (Whitaker, Ramsey & Smith, 2012, p. 21). Timeliness is reflected in the fact that the lead is so short and dramatic, to grab the viewer’s attention to continue watching for more information. The human interest is used as referring to Burke as ‘no saint’ makes the viewer begin to experience negative emotions toward him and his actions. Conflict is also used strongly through the mention of Bronwyn Bishop and how Burke ‘led the attack’ on her spending habits.

When it comes to online articles, Schaudt and Carpenter (2009) suggest that the greater the number of news values present in a story, the more likely that a reader is going to stay and continue reading. Timeliness is present, as the author tried to quickly include the most important facts and figures about the story in as short of a lead as possible. Prominence is also evident with the mention of Burke as well as Robbie williams. The story also relies slightly on proximity to the country of Australia as a whole, with the mention of Uluru, which has significance to Australian citizens.

I think that the reason why this topic interests me is because of the ‘human interest’ news value. It really makes me feel angry and annoyed at politicians who use hardworking taxpayer’s money for their own leisure or for things outside of what their entitlements are meant to include.

Reference List

Bourke, L 2015, ‘Tony Burke to repay $90 but stands by $12,000 family trip to Uluru’ The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 August, viewed 7 August 2015,


Burke, Tony, 2015, ‘Tony Burke’ Accessed August 7, 2015. http://www.tonyburke.com.au/

Cleary, P & Higgins, E 2015, ‘Come fly with me: Burke’s world tour with the staffer who became his partner’, The Australian, 7 August, p. 1.

Schaudt, S & Carpenter, S 2009, ‘The News That’s Fit to Click: An Analysis of Online News Values and Preferences Present in the Most-viewedStories on azcentral.com’ Southwestern Mass Communication Journal, 2009, vol. 24, no. 2, p. 17, viewed 7 August 2015, http://www.academia.edu/204998/The_news_that_s_fit_to_click_An_analysis_of_online_news_values_and_preferences_present_in_the_most-viewed_stories_on_azcentral.com

Whitaker, W. Richard, Janet E. Ramsey and Ronald D. Smith 2012, Media Writing: Print, Broadcast, and Public Relations, 4th edn, Routledge, New York.

7News, 2015. “Tony Burke under fire over family trip” 7News broadcast video, posted August 7, 2015. https://au.news.yahoo.com/video/watch/29202870/tony-burke-under-fire-over-family-trip/#page1


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