What Is News?


News is a mass communication which conveys current and interesting events to the public. It is usually based on reports made by professional journalists or amateur observers. It may be in the form of radio or television programmes, newspaper articles, or spoken word. The content of news is influenced by politics, social issues, crime, war and natural disasters. It also features prominent people, celebrity and entertainment. The news is important because it influences the thinking of the public and has a major impact on society.

Some things make more news than others, even when they occur every day. For example, if a man wakes up, eats breakfast and goes to work on the bus, this is not news, but if he falls off the roof of a building and dies it is. This is because the first event is not unusual but the second event is.

Controversy is another thing which makes news. This is because people love to hear about arguments, charges and counter-charges. Prominence is another factor which makes news because people want to know what famous people are up to. Locality is also a feature of news which attracts the attention of the public because people are interested in what is happening around them. The other thing which makes news is emotion. People are interested in stories which make them laugh or cry.

Many different types of subjects are featured in news, including war, government, education, health, food, the environment, economy, fashion, entertainment and sport. News stories also include accidents and incidents of crime, especially violent crimes, which are a major source of drama. Government proclamations and royal ceremonies are often newsworthy, as are laws and taxes.

A good news story has a title which is catchy, concise and gives the main point of the article. It is followed by a byline, which should be the writer’s name (unless other members of staff write the headlines for the publication). The lead is the first paragraph which summarises the whole article and explains why it is important. It is then followed by the main body of the article which provides details of the event or issue being reported.

A key element of news is that it should be significant, interesting and unusual. The significance of an event can be judged by its importance to the people concerned, and this will vary from society to society. For example, a coup d’etat in one country is big news but not so much in the neighbouring country. What is interesting or unusual will also vary from society to society. For example, an insect infestation is not likely to interest people unless it is a serious threat to their crops. This would be newsworthy in a country where there is a shortage of food.