News is an account of a recent event reported by a journalist through a mass medium such as newspaper, radio or television. This is a common perception of what news is. When a reporter gives an account of an occurrence, especially a recent event, and makes it available to the public through newspapers, radio, television, or even online platforms, it is referred to as news. News is information that is published in newspapers and broadcast on radio and television about recent events that took place in a particular area of activity.
Rural news is an account of an event that occurred in a rural community. Though most reporters write rural news from urban areas, a typical rural news story is supposed to be written in the rural area, from the perspective of rural dwellers. Rural news exposes to the public, happenings in rural areas, challenges rural dwellers face and what they expect from government. Rural news helps attract attention to rural areas and foster development in rural communities.
This takes us to the concept of rural news tourism which is the practice of spending time in the rural area with a view to experiencing newsworthy events to be reported from the perspective of a witness. First, what is tourism? This refers to activities of people traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for leisure, business or other purposes for a period of time. When related to news reporting, rural news tourism consists of visiting a particular rural area to stay for a period of time in order to be part of news worthy events. It could be a festival, cultural practice that is newsworthy, watching as rural dwellers experience challenges in health, agriculture, or any other sector. The reporter does not report an incident from the urban area but visits the rural community to spend time with those who live there so as to experience the news event first hand.
Rural News Tourism is an interesting concept used to describe the act of visiting and residing in villages to experience local news first hand with a view to presenting very rich report reflecting your adventure. Rural news tourism is fun for reporters. The person reporting may or may not be a trained journalists but the report will be more professional if done by a trained journalist. You find some journalists who visit specific areas to witness events first hand and develop series of straight news reports and feature stories from such events. It could be that the villagers have health challenges due to lack of hospitals. Instead of just rushing into that village to interview a few persons, the journalist lives in the community with the villages, watches specific cases of how the residents suffer due to lack of good health care. Such stories will definitely be rich and captivating.
Rural news tourism is not only about bad news. It could be a rich unique cultural development which would make a good story for the Art and Life session of a news medium. Rural news tourism is a very good way of achieving development communication goals.