What Is News?


News is information about current events that is relevant to a wide range of people. It can be a report of war, government policies and politics, royal ceremonies, education, health, the environment, business and economics, sport, fashion or entertainment. It can also be about significant or unusual occurrences such as weather, natural disasters and accidents. Since ancient times news has been transmitted from one person to another through oral means such as word of mouth, but printing, radio and television have greatly accelerated the process of dissemination and influenced its content.

There are several theories of what makes a good news story. One popular model is the ‘newsworthiness test’ which states that a story should be new, unusual, interesting, significant and about people. This explains why it is rare to read about someone simply going to work or eating breakfast; these events are not newsworthy. However, if that same person is caught on camera in the middle of a terrorist attack then it would certainly be newsworthy.

People are interested in what is happening around them and they want to know about it. People also like controversies, as they want to hear arguments, charges and counter-charges, fights and tension. Prominence also relates to newsworthiness as people are interested in well-known people, and especially if they do something out of the ordinary.

Usually, news stories are about people because the human element is very important. This is because a human story can relate to many different people, depending on how closely they are associated with the event or its effects. However, this is not always the case, as some events and issues may be very important to only a small number of people.

A large amount of the news is concerned with events and issues which are of concern to a large number of people, such as major crimes, accidents or disasters. It is the impact that these events have on a large number of people which gives them the status of being newsworthy.

Another factor which determines the importance of a story is its timing. A story which happened a week ago is unlikely to be newsworthy now, as the community will already have moved on and forgotten about it.

The structure of a news article is typically in the form of an inverted pyramid. This means that the most important facts are placed at the top of the article, with less important details following down the page. This ensures that readers who only have time to skim a piece of news will still receive a lot of the key information. It also enables those who are very interested in a particular aspect of the news to quickly find that information. It also allows journalists to include as much detail about an event as they feel is necessary, without worrying too much about wasting space in the rest of the article on unimportant information.

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