9 Important Points on How to Attract Journalist (not Romantically) According to Prita Laura

Prita Laura

Prita Laura is an attractive, smart, wonderful journalist at Metro TV. She's been in the business for about 13 years now.

Oh, as you can see, she admits that she's an avid lover of the sea. And she's married. Ah..

But, what's more important here right now is her insights on how to have a better, professional communication with journalists.

On May 2016, I attended an event organized by PR Newswire Asia at Sari Pan Pacific Jakarta where Prita shared nine points to take into account to make stories more attractive for journalists. It's actually a modified Journalism 101.

She believed that if we wanted our story to be heard by journalists, first and foremost, we had to think like journalists. In a nutshell, there are some aspects to consider to make our story newsworthy.

Yep, we're also about to know the reasons why journalists keep on broadcasting, if not reporting, Jessica's trial, Mario Teguh, Marshanda or AwKarin drama.

1. Prominence


People love stories about famous people. And journalists are people too. In fact, the story shouldn't
actually about prominent people, places or things, but when the event somehow involves them, it becomes newsworthy.

Is Mario Teguh a prominent figure? Crystal, right?

2. Timeliness

What is happening now? What is happening presently? We love cakes that are fresh from the oven, don't we? So do journalists when it comes to stories.

However, the problem with timeliness (or being in such a hurry in telling the news) is its complicated relationship with accuracy. You know, breaking news, online news portal and whatnots that sometimes just make things worse when a crisis is happening, for instance.

3. Proximity (Geographical)

Where's the story happening? The location of where the story dwells is important to some people and journalists.

Why doesn't a story about students risking their life everyday to go to school in Purwakarta covered as frequent as the eviction news in Jakarta? Because it happens in Purwakarta.

4. Novelty

Is this story something new? Is this something never happened before? Or this is something that's happened before but there's something new in it?

If it is, then congratulations! You just got jounalists' attention.. Well, sort of.

Is the case of allegedly murdering someone with a toxicated cup of coffee something unsual or novel? Yep.

5. Impact

Does the story have impact on us (directly or indirectly)? 

A story of odd-even plate policy in Jakarta was widely discussed because it's considered as significantly impactful for a significant amount of people in Jakarta (remember proximity?) rather than a forced marriage threats by the local goververnment in Purwakarta.

Also, AwKarin's story's considered as impactful especially by the concerned parents and journalists cleverly spot that (to turn concerns into website traffic or click-bait online news headline). It's something that is relatively novel too, that's why it becomes newsworthy.

6. Conflict

Does Basuki Tjahja Purnama ring a bell? 

Well, Do Ahok versus DPRD of Jakarta, Ahmad Dhani, Yusril Ihza Mahendra and minions remind you of something or many things maybe?

Conflict that might be interesting for journalists is the one that invloves important human versus human, human versus nature, ideology versus ideology, the rich verus the rich, the powerful versus the powerless/powerful, Alien versus Predator and whatnots.

Just make some conflicts, will you? We all love, if not interested in, drama. There I said it.

7. Human Interests

How can the allegedly toxicated Vietnamese coffee case be the most broadcasted case in Indonesia? Because it's an unsual case.

And, according to Collen Cotter's News Talk: Investigating the Language of Journalism, a human interest value could possibly emerge from a story that's novel.

According to the same book, a human interest value can be observed by looking at how people care to hear about a story. Objectively speaking, Indonesian friends and family seem to really care about a cyanide lecture broadcasted on the telly.

8. Usefulness

Have you ever heard the news about Indonesia's plastic bag diet movement? That news was a national discourse for quite some time, probably up until now.

And most of the time, people (and journalists) have talked about the usefulness of the movement. That's why such story is most likely to be newsworthy.

9. Trending Topic (Social Media)

Virality is the key word. Nowadays, various social media platforms have become highly accessed, if not trusted, sources of news because people do/say/make something newsworthy in digital realm. 

This can explain why AwKarin has constantly become "the news" since you care about her, you and your friends talk about her then "browse" her.

You can just make a story that contains at least three aspects of above nine and, Insha Allah, it's God likely to be the Queen of the news.

Do we learn something here?

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