Critical Perspectives on the European Mediasphere. The intellectual work of the 2011 European media and communication doctoral summer school.

Title chapter: The role of ‘Hey Mabels’ in making sense of the world
Author: Ebba Sundin
Keywords: journalism, global news, news values
Abstract: In this chapter, a story of the shark catch will be the starting point for a discussion about global news stories and their role in the individual’s efforts to make sense of the world. One of the main questions is whether research into global news stories characterised as ‘Hey Mabel’ stories would contribute to a greater understanding of the global news flow not usually covered by the traditional and classic theories of news values. Within the professional language of journalism, odd and bizarre stories, like man bites dog, are sometimes referred to as ‘Hey Mabel’ stories. These stories are often of interest to news consumers despite their minor significance. They can sometimes be amusing or disturbing stories, leading to further discussion. Within the research tradition of news, this type of story has not attracted much attention, a situation this chapter wants to redress.
Click here to download full chapter [pdf]