What Is News?

News is the information which informs us of what is happening in our world. It includes events which affect people, animals or things, and also opinions on those events. News reports should be without bias and should include a wide variety of sources to give the reader a range of viewpoints.

A news story is usually a short piece about something which is happening now or which has just happened, and the writer’s opinion on it. It might also involve an interview with someone involved in the story or a description of what happened in a particular way. A good piece of news writing will be concise, avoiding lengthy tangents and winding sentences which will make the reader lose interest in the article. It should also be up to date, with the latest information. In this age of 24-hour news broadcasting, readers are used to being able to find out what is happening right now.

Events which are newsworthy depend upon whether they are new, unusual, interesting, significant or about people. Something which is only new or unusual may not be particularly interesting, but if it is important then it will be. If it is about a person then it will be newsworthy if that person is famous, has achieved something of significance or has done something controversial.

It is usually a good idea to be impartial when reporting news, but this can be difficult when a story has personal implications for the writer. For example, a person may be very interested in their family, but they are not likely to be as interested in news about the death of their parent or sibling. In this case it is better to interview the relative and ask them what they thought about the event, rather than relying on the writer’s own opinion.

The subjects of news stories will vary across societies, but there are certain subjects which tend to be of interest to all. These include crime: road traffic offences, burglaries, robberies, murders and terrorist incidents; money: fortunes made and lost, business successes and failures, taxes, school fees, wages, budgets, compensation claims, food prices, inflation and economic crises. The weather: droughts, floods, high or low temperatures and extremes of rainfall, storms and snowstorms will always be of interest to the public.

Societies are interested in what other people are doing, and so they will be interested in any social activities which go on. These can be as mundane as a party, or as significant as a revolution. People will also be interested in any sport which involves competition, such as football, cricket, tennis or chess. People are also concerned about their health and will be interested in news about traditional remedies, medical research, diseases, hospitals and clinics, doctors and chemists. They will also be interested in stories about sex which goes against society’s generally accepted standards. However, not all societies will be willing to discuss sex in the open. Therefore, a journalist will need to be sensitive about what is or is not newsworthy in different countries and cultures.