News can be a very powerful thing. It can teach, it can illuminate; it can inspire – but it can only do this if people use it in a determined way. It can also be a very negative thing. It can be used to spread communalism and nationalistic views. But it can do nothing if it doesn’t have the freedom to report the truth fairly and accurately.
It’s important to remember that the purpose of news is not to entertain – it’s to inform and educate. That’s why most newspapers, magazines, radio and television programs aren’t designed to be entertaining – they’re meant to inform and educate the audience.
That’s why it’s important to choose stories that are interesting and relevant to your audience – it’s not enough to just write boring, factual articles all the time. The people who read your newspaper or listen to your radio or watch your TV program are interested in what’s happening and why. They want to learn about the world around them, and your news articles should aim to be interesting and relevant so they’ll want to read more.
The news is an important part of any society, and it’s often the first place you hear about things that are going on in your community. It can be about a local problem, a national one or even a global issue. It can be about the weather, sports, the economy, social issues, crime, health or sex, among other things.
Some examples of what makes news are:
Unusual and new: Events which are unusual and new but which aren’t of interest to the general public may not be news, although they could make a specialist newspaper or broadcast. For example, if scientists found an insect which had never before lived on a plant which it was now living on, then that would be news – but if the same insects were eating bush grass, then that would not be so – so that’s why it isn’t news.
It’s about people: The lives and personalities of prominent men and women are very popular news subjects, as well as scandals involving them. This includes the death of a famous person, whether it’s a head of state or a well-known politician. It’s also news when someone loses their money, is involved in a crime or has to pay for an illness.
Crime: Any crime is potentially a news story, but more serious crimes or unusual ones tend to make the most news. It can be a road traffic offence, for example, or it could be something more serious such as a murder.
Money: The sums of money that people make and lose are another popular news subject, as are the rise and fall of prices for food, petrol and housing. Wage rises and economic crises are also very popular, as are claims for compensation or benefits.
Compared with news articles, feature articles are more creative and explore the deeper meanings of the news event or person. Unlike news articles, which are structured in the inverted pyramid format with key facts at the start of the article, feature articles have more space to develop their story. They may take an unexpected twist or a heartwarming angle.