News is information about events, happenings and issues which are important to people. It can be about local, national or international issues and developments. News is a way of keeping informed about what is going on around us and helps us to understand the world in which we live.
News can be in the form of written articles, audio or visual recordings. It can also be broadcast on television, radio or internet. News is usually reported by trained journalists and other media personnel. However, increasingly the public are becoming suppliers and reporters of news themselves. This can have advantages for democracy as more people are involved in the process of news gathering and reporting.
Many different types of news stories exist, from the trivial to the major. The most significant events are often dramatic and create a sense of urgency, such as the death of a famous person or a natural disaster. Other things that make the news are controversies, charges and counter-charges, conflict and tension. People are also interested in a story which affects them personally, for example, the loss of their job or their home.
Historically, the main function of news has been to inform the public. This still remains a vital function and is a key part of the role of news media. It is important to have a wide range of sources of news in order to get the most balanced picture possible. Newspapers, radio and TV all provide news in their own unique ways. Each has its own style which appeals to different groups of people.
Other functions of news are entertainment and education. For example, sports news is popular, but also stories about music, dance and theatre keep people up-to-date with what is happening in their area. Stories about food and drink are also of interest, whether it is the latest outbreak of a bug which is affecting crop yields or the price of milk in the supermarket.
People are also interested in a variety of social and economic news. Weather reports are of interest to people as well as train times and bus routes. Food prices are of concern to people as are the cost of living and wages. People are interested in what other countries are doing and in the achievements of famous people.
Almost everything that happens is newsworthy at some point. Some of it is more newsworthy than others, but all of it has some sort of impact on people.