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Lithuania – (F7) Procedures on news selection and news processing

Score in short:

Some news media have written documents (stylebooks) for news presentation; these instructions, however, are very general.

Score in detail:

The main goal of most media organizations is to inform the audience about what is relevant / important, but also what is interesting. All respondents interviewed stressed that their news organization also seeks to be different from other information providers in their field (or from what is offered on the Internet in general). Thus an important criterion in news selection and presentation is the distinctiveness of news: a different angle, a different source, or a different style of presentation. A number of respondents expressed harsh criticism of their competitors, explaining in what ways their organization is better and how it seeks quality and professionalism (for example, in the journalism that it produces). These journalists have stressed that they see consultations and discussions with colleagues in the newsroom as an important part of their work.

In most cases, news organizations do not have written rules on news selection. Journalists are trained on the job: they are explained the basic principles and policies of the newsroom and learn through their own experience, counseling and consultations. BnS is the only agency in our sample that has a stylebook in which the major principles of professional news reporting are indicated. The instructions put a strong emphasis on the clarity of writing and the reliability of sources. Working at the news agency, journalists know that they must be the first to announce news, but they also must be a reliable source for other news media. other newsrooms follow their own practices of, for example, sending weekly newsletters to journalists where editorial policies are outlined (15 min). In most cases these guidelines are for internal use only.

Generally, all news organizations stressed that there are no preferred and no neglected themes in their newsrooms. In one case it was mentioned that soft news is an important daily news agenda item (15 min).