News is the information that is constantly being spread on the internet and through newspapers, radio, TV and in magazines. It is one of the most important forms of communication in our society, and it helps people to be aware of what is happening around them.
A lot of the news we read in newspapers or magazines, watch on TV, listen to on the radio and find on the Internet is dramatic. This means that an event will probably become a news story if it includes an element of drama and has clearly identifiable good and bad characters or situations. For example, a robbery at a convenience store will make it into the news because of its dramatic aspect and the fact that it is likely to attract attention from other people.
The news is not always accurate or even true, but it does give us an idea of what is going on in the world. It can also help us to understand the issues facing our country and the people in it.
Most people agree that the purpose of the news media – newspapers, magazines, radio and television – is to inform, educate and entertain. That does not mean that news should be boring, however. If a story has an element of humour, it will probably be more interesting to the reader than a boring report of a natural disaster or a police arrest.
There are five main criteria that can be used to assess the strength of a news story. These are: timeliness, drama, consequence, proximity and narrative.
Timeliness: Any event that is occurring at the present moment is likely to be a news story. This includes weather forecasts, train timings, government policies and other current events.
Drama: Any events that include an element of drama are likely to be a news story, particularly if they involve the death of a celebrity or a high profile crime. The story may be about a murder, a terrorist attack or a car accident.
Context: The news value of an event depends on the circumstances in which it is taking place, and on what it does for the people involved. A story about a coup d’etat in your country, for instance, will be much more newsworthy than a story about an uprising in the country next door, because it could affect the stability of that area.
Consequence: The news value of an event or issue usually depends on how it will affect a lot of people, and the effect it has on their lives and on the economy. A stock market crash, a major financial crisis or a riot are all examples of consequences that might be a big news story.
Prominence: A person or group who is famous or important in some way can often be a cause for news because they can often be a target for criticism, publicity and sympathy. A prominent politician or athlete can often be a news story because their reputation and image are highly valued by the public.