What Is Newsworthy?


News is information about current events. It can be found in many formats, such as written texts (such as newspapers or magazines) and audiovisual media such as radio or television. The word “news” comes from the verb “to tell”. News is often written in a style that is concise and factual, with a focus on timeliness and importance. It can also contain opinion or analysis. It is sometimes presented with a political or ethical agenda. It can be difficult to determine what is newsworthy, but it generally involves something that affects the public.

The strength of a story is usually measured by its “news value”. A story which meets the following five criteria is likely to be newsworthy: it must be new, unusual, interesting, significant and about people. However, a very strong story may have more than one of these qualities.

Stories about crime can be of great interest to the public, such as robberies or murders. Road traffic accidents or break-ins can also be newsworthy if they cause significant injury or are particularly unusual. Money stories are another common type of news, such as large inheritances or huge pay-offs. However, even small amounts of money can be newsworthy if they are donated to charity or for disaster relief.

Government, politics, education, health and the environment are subjects that are regularly reported in the news. News about war and royal ceremonies is often deemed to be especially important, but government proclamations, laws and taxes can also be considered newsworthy. News about business, fashion and entertainment is less commonly featured, but if it is controversial or unusual it may make the news.

It is important to know your audience when writing news. A newspaper article about a local crime will need to include interviews with the police and any other witnesses, but should not talk to the general public, such as shopkeepers or friends of the perpetrators, unless they are direct eyewitnesses. It is also essential to have an editorial angle in mind when writing news articles.

The news media has changed significantly in recent years, with the emergence of new media, blogs and specialty outlets. This has meant that fewer journalists are now covering local news in traditional newspapers, TV and radio. This has heightened the importance of getting a strong story and making it interesting, and can have implications for the quality of the news we are given.

A recent study found that eight out of ten local stories in American newspapers did not contain any original reporting by staff reporters. Instead, they repackaged existing news from wire services and other sources. The study also examined the news “ecosystem” of a large American city and found that most of it is initiated by government officials, with a further 14% coming from the press and other outside sources. This research raises the question of what will happen as the economic model that has subsidized professional journalism collapses. The result will probably be a greater variety of local news outlets with a more diverse range of information.