Why a Crime News Story May Be a ‘Newsworthy’ Matter
On October 20, 2013, a crime news story featured in The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported about the police being worried about the level of silence that had been portrayed by people after the murder of a supposed drug peddler. Khaled Kahwaji was the suspected drug peddler. The crime occurred in Greenacre, Sydney, Australia. However, it has been quite daunting for the police, who are investigating the case, gathering evidence that can lead them to the suspects. The first aspect of the news story that makes it newsworthy is the issue of conventionalism, which falls under Chibnall’s news values. The story captures a crime incident that occurred in Australia. Moreover, the story reports about a person who was murdered in the street by people who were tracking him. This implies the operational complexities of drug cartels.
The story also meets the aspect of dramatisation. More often than not, the police are charged with the responsibility of extracting important information from the public following a crime to be able to identify the suspects and prosecute them. However, in this story, the police are unable to extract any leading information from the public. To worsen and deepen the situation, the police have decided to prosecute people who are deemed to be holding crucial information concerning the murder of Kahwaji. Most of the suspects are close associates of the victim. In addition to them, the detectives who claimed to have seen everything refused to volunteer information to the investigators. Thus, they have also been lined up for judgement for concealing important information in the case.
The story meets the threshold aspect in the sense that it reports about a crime incident that involved the murder of the victim through shooting. The way the suspects identify and target the victim, as reported in the news, also brings out the incidence as a gun crime. There are spectacular and visual aspects, as well as the graphic representation of the story. According to Jewkes, these aspects are critical as far as attaining relevance in the reporting of crime is concerned. The story carries four critical graphics, including the real picture of the crime scene. One of the graphics in the picture is CCTV footage that captured the suspected killer. In addition, the story presents a summarised lesson on crime prevention. This lesson features in the last sentence of the article. Thus, the aspect of risk is considered in the story.