Among the most widely used terms in contemporary media, news is a report of recent events that are of general interest to a society. Usually, news consists of events that affect people, whether in a local or international context. News can be found through various mediums, including television, radio, print, and the internet. News may have negative, positive, or neutral overtones.
News is sometimes called “hard news” to distinguish it from soft media. Hard news is usually news that is immediate and matter-of-fact. It may involve breaking news and news that is shorter than a thousand words. Most hard news stories are on the front pages of newspapers. The value of a news story depends on the place where it originates and its impact on readers.
In order to understand the nature of news, it is important to know the different types of news. These include hard news, soft news, and entertainment stories. Each type has its own characteristic and is categorized according to the nature of the event. The main difference between these types of news is its impact on readers. Generally, hard news is more important. Soft news stories are usually longer and may focus on an individual or a trend. Entertainment stories include witty headlines, animals, show business, and human interest.
As part of the news-making process, models of news making help to explain how different news values affect readers. These models include the Political Model, which outlines how news is a representation of political pressures and ideological biases of the audience. In addition to this model, the Organizational Model outlines how news influences governmental processes.
Another model, the Mirror Model, outlines that news should reflect reality. However, this model does not account for the content of print media or the influence of social development on the news. It is therefore not a complete explanation of news selection. This model also does not account for news outputs, which can explain as much about news treatment as news selection.
In the twenty-first century, news has shifted from factual to emotive format. Television and radio became important means of transmitting news in the 20th century. The internet has started playing a similar role. As the internet becomes more prevalent, many new forms of journalism have emerged. There are citizen journalists, social media, and automated news gathering. These new forms of journalism have blurred the boundaries between professional and amateur media.
The news selection process is important because it can affect whether something becomes a news story. Journalists claim that they cover all sides of an issue without bias. However, some journalists have more power than others. The choice of news stories is also affected by the journalistic routines of the news organization. These routines include meeting deadlines, access, and competition for exclusives.
Several governments impose constraints on news outlets to avoid bias and conflict of interest. For example, the United Kingdom government agency Ofcom enforces the impartiality requirement on broadcasters.