News is information about current events, which can be reported in a number of ways. Traditionally, newspaper articles and radio news broadcasts are the main sources of news.
Online news websites and social media also report the latest news. However, they often do so in a shorter format than traditional publications.
A news article aims to inform, rather than entertain. Although entertainment can be provided by music and drama programs on radio, or cartoons and crosswords in newspapers and magazines, it is the job of the news media to educate their readers, listeners or viewers.
The information in a news story should be factual and up to date. It should highlight an important development or event that is likely to affect the lives of a large number of people. It should also be interesting and significant.
Many events that happen every day are not newsworthy. For example, if a man wakes up, eats breakfast and takes the bus to work, it is not newsworthy. However, if a man has been killed in a car crash, this would be newsworthy. This is because the death is unusual, significant and involving people.
Other events that are not necessarily newsworthy include fires, bushfires, droughts and volcanic eruptions. These types of events are not normally caused by people but can be caused by a force of nature, such as a tornado or hurricane. These types of events are generally not seen as being as interesting or as significant as a person’s death, even though they can cause great suffering for many people.
A news story is usually written by a journalist. The journalist will usually research the subject and find out as much as possible about it before writing the article. It is then submitted to the editor, who decides whether or not it is suitable for publication. If it is, it may be laid out on dummy pages and if the chief editor approves of the content, style and language in the article, it will then be published.
News stories are short because they must be reported quickly, as they are often breaking news – occurring in the moment they occur. As a result, news reports are often found at the front of newspapers or on online news websites, and they must grab the attention of their readers. Having a misleading headline, or an article with information that is not up to date, can damage a newspaper’s reputation.
Typically, a news article will be followed by supplementary information, such as quotes from those involved in the story or experts who are giving their opinions. This enables the reader to engage with the news on a deeper level and form their own opinion about it. These additional facts are known as ‘background’. A good source of background is a news aggregator website, which can provide information from around the world. For example, the BBC has reporters based in most countries and is one of the first places to have global coverage of a breaking news event.