What Is News?


News is anything that makes a reader or listener say, “Gee Whiz!” It is unusual, interesting and significant. It may be a fact, an opinion or a story. It could be a personal experience or something that happens to someone else. It should be told briefly so that people will read it, clearly so that they understand it and picturesquely so that they will remember it. It must also be accurate or it will confuse and mislead. It is not news if it has already happened before, but it is if it has not been reported before. Events that happen to ordinary people are news if they have not been reported before. For example, the assassination of a prominent politician is not news if it has been reported in previous newspapers or television programs. If the assassination has not been reported before, however, it is news and should be reported.

People are interested in the news when it concerns them directly. Stories involving the weather, food and drink, the health of animals and people, the work of famous men and women, the lives of children, the behaviour of animals and sex all make good news. People are interested in celebrity and the gossip that surrounds them, especially when celebrities behave in an unusual or scandalous way.

Many people are interested in politics and government, but not all are interested in the same things. News about terrorism, wars and political assassinations will not be of interest to everyone. But news about how local councils spend public money or the outcome of elections will be of interest to everyone.

Some writers add their own opinions to their news articles. This can be done by including quotations from those involved in the events, or by adding the opinions of experts in a particular field. These opinions can add value to the article, but they should be cited so that readers can see that they are not just the writer’s own opinion.

The main purpose of news is to inform. It should tell what is happening, why it is happening and what effect it will have. It should do this in a way that is interesting and significant to its audience, without sensationalism or bias. It should be balanced and provide information that is useful to its audience, such as how to avoid diseases or save money.

One of the most important aspects of news is its ability to challenge opinions. By examining different perspectives on an event, the reader can come to a better understanding of why certain people support or oppose the issue. This can be as simple as reading a partisan newspaper or a blog, or as in-depth as studying the opinions of academics and experts. By doing this, the student can learn how news is shaped by those who write it, edit it and present it. This can be a valuable lesson in how to critically examine the world around them and become an informed citizen.