The Sixth W is "Who Cares?" It refers to what we call "news judgment" and it ought to be an explicit part of our theory of the press, because subjective jugments of "newsworthiness" are often the weakest link in our efforts to provide quality coverage.
As described in my page on narrative, we tend to decide what to cover, what to emphasize and how to organize the information in a report based on what we think will be interesting to readers, rather than what we think would be a complete information model.
Consequently, we cover the initial report of a fire that destroys an apartment building, but unless the eventual finding our cause is dramatic, or the original story itself continues to be a widespread subject of interest, the official finding of cause is seldom reported. Because the item is not reported, it cannot be found in the archive. Hence one problem with news archives: they're woefully incomplete and therefore incapable of producing definitie answers.
"Who cares' is significant to journalism because the press is subsidized by advertisers who pay to rent the attention of the news audience."Who cares" is significant to society because the most damning critiques of media bias focus on what the press chooses to present as news.These two competing interests are not likely to be resolved without a new approach to journalism, based on a sustainable business model.