What Is News?


News is information about events that are significant to a particular audience. This can include current affairs, political events and social developments. It can also refer to weather, natural disasters, crime or sport. News may be reported in newspapers, magazines, radio and television. A free press is often seen as an essential part of a democracy. It is important that the media is not censored and that the public are informed about what is happening in their country and the world.

Exactly what constitutes news will vary from society to society. In some places it might be more unusual than in others. However, there are some factors that tend to be common to most news stories: impact, proximity, controversy, currency and prominence. In other words, the more impact a story has, the more likely it is to be newsworthy. It must also be new and relevant. An old story will not usually make the news; it must be fresh.

An event must be significant to a particular readership in order for it to be newsworthy. For example, the death of a famous person will probably have a greater impact on some readers than the reorganisation of a department store. It must also be a local story or at least involve people from the area where it is taking place. Controversy is also a factor, as are tensions and debates. It is not enough, though, to simply have a conflict; it must be something that could affect the lives of those who are reading the newspaper or watching the television program. Finally, it must be interesting. A story about a man catching the bus to work is not particularly newsworthy but if he is 90 years old and still catches the bus every day then this would be newsworthy.

When writing a news article it is important to give all of the key details about an event in your first paragraph. This will catch the attention of readers and encourage them to read on. It is also important to be accurate and not to exaggerate. Finally, it is a good idea to provide a concluding statement that restates the leading statement (thesis) or hints at potential future developments on the subject.

Most people agree that the job of the news media is to inform and educate their readers, listeners or viewers. It is not necessarily to entertain them, although it may do so indirectly through music and drama programmes on TV or radio or crosswords in newspapers.