“Palermo, in the 1980s, counted a dead person a day, they were so common people were almost used to them. Now, a homicide in Palermo is news,” he says.

Source: How the Mafia's Murder of an Italian Prosecutor Became a Turning Point in Italy's Fight Against the Mob

I am a little bit puzzled by the bolded part in the above sentence. I presume that the author wants to say that murders are in current Palermo a rare phenomenon. Does the word "news" have such a meaning in the context of my sentence?

1 Answer 1


News can mean "something that is unusual, interesting or important". A dog biting a man is not news; a man biting a dog is news. In the 1980s, murders in Palermo were everyday events. Now they are not.

  1. uncountable noun
    If you say that someone or something is news, you mean that they are considered to be interesting and important at the moment, and that people want to hear about them on the radio and television and in newspapers.
    [informal] A murder was big news. If you are a celebrity, you are headline news.

News (Dictionary)

  • I think you mean unusual.
    – Barmar
    Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 19:32

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