What is News?

News is the information about events that the media – newspapers, magazines, radio and television – publishes or broadcasts. It is a vital part of the social glue that holds society together and is considered to be one of the most important functions of a modern democracy.

News articles are designed to inform and educate a readership or audience. They are usually short, written in an objective manner and include quotes from people who are involved or who have knowledge of the topic. They are presented in a chronological order with the most important information at the top of the article. A good news article will start with a strong headline and end with a clear, logical and memorable conclusion.

A good news article should also contain enough detail that the reader can form an opinion about the event, whether it is a positive or negative one. It is essential to provide factual information that supports the viewpoint of the writer and does not include any personal bias. A writer’s opinion should only be included if it is relevant to the story.

The most significant influence on news selection by journalists has been the desire to have stories widely shared, which is now a major factor in the way they are chosen for publication (Harcup and O’Neill 2001; Tien Vu 2014). This trend is also evident in the ways in which audiences make their own recommendations of which stories to read and share on social media platforms.

It is important to note that News does not always tell the truth. Some things that happen in the world are not newsworthy and may even be boring or mundane. For example, if a man wakes up in the morning and goes to work on the bus, it is not newsworthy, as this is an ordinary, everyday activity. On the other hand, if a man is captured by terrorists and taken into custody in a secret location, this could be newsworthy.

In general, the following criteria help determine the intrinsic newsworthiness of an event:

Crime: Any crime can be newsworthy, but it is usually a more serious event that makes the front page, such as a murder, bank robbery or car hijacking. Unusual crimes also make the news. Money: Money stories can be quite fascinating, especially if they involve large sums of money or if the subject is unusual. The fortunes made and lost in gambling, stock market speculation and inheritance are examples of this type of news.

Other aspects of newsworthiness include celebrity, entertainment and the power elite. Celebrity stories are those concerning famous people, while entertainment news is generally soft and concerns sex, showbusiness, sport and lighter human interest or animal stories. Drama and controversy also have high newsworthiness, as do the unexpected or the strange or unusual. Finally, magnitudity and relevance are both influenced by the number of people involved and the extent to which they are culturally or historically familiar to an audience.