What Is News?

News is a written account of recent events or developments. It is often gathered through interviews with witnesses, but may also come from official sources such as police or government agencies. It can be presented in a variety of ways, from traditional print and broadcast media to social media and online blogs. Most people follow multiple news sources, but some have a preferred medium or format. For example, some people prefer to read newspapers while others enjoy listening to radio or watching television.

It is important to know who you are writing for when composing a news article. This can be as simple as a general demographic based on location, or it can be more specific. For instance, if you are reporting on a school function, your target audience might be parents with children. Or, if you are writing about zoning laws in a commercial area, your audience might be business owners.

The classic definition of news is “dog bites man” or “man bites dog.” This is not universal, though; what is considered interesting or significant in one society may be unimportant or even boring in another. This is because the context of a story makes it newsworthy.

A major factor in deciding what is newsworthy is whether it affects the common good. For example, a natural disaster is newsworthy when it disrupts the daily lives of many people, such as an earthquake, cyclone or tsunami. In contrast, a celebrity scandal or a sporting event is less likely to be newsworthy if it only affects a small number of people.

In addition, the quality of the information and the timeliness of a story can determine its relevance. For example, a sports event will not be as newsworthy if it is delayed, or if the result is disputed.

Historically, the dissemination of news was primarily oral. This was followed by the development of newspapers, which started in China and spread to Europe in the 1600s. Later, technology allowed news to be transmitted at an unprecedented speed, leading to new forms of journalism and the rise of citizen journalists.

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