Google News tries to cluster many stories on the Google News home page or even on Google News search results. One way of getting a lot of traffic is to be a features story, but if you can't be the features story, the next best thing is to be the features image for the story.
We talked about Getting Images Ranked in Google News and Show Images In Google News Results in the past. But one point I did not realize how important it was, was how close the image is to your title and body.
If you want your image to have a shot of being featured, you must display the image near your article title and body text. Now, if you are using fancy CSS to place the image at the bottom of your source code, but yet the image still shows near the title and body of the story, it still might not be good enough. The image tag in the source code of your story must be near or in the title and/or body of your content.
A Google News Help thread has new Googler, Gary Illyes, explaining that as one reason why the images for one publisher as not coming up in Google News. He said:
One of our images related technical guideline is to have the image close to the article title and article body. In your case the title is rather far from the image and is possible that that causes us difficulties in indexing your images.
While this fix may solve your issue, we can't guarantee that if you change your HTML structure we will be able to index the images.
For more tips on this topic, see:Google News Help.