What Is News?


News is the information that is disseminated about a range of topics. It is often of a current nature and is fed to consumers instantaneously through a variety of communication media. News focuses on the important issues of the day such as war, terrorism, crime, political scandals and elections, weather, sporting events and celebrity gossip. Historically, news has been transmitted from town to town via word of mouth and written down for later publication in newspapers, magazines or on radio and television. Modern technology has radically changed the speed at which news is transmitted and how it is consumed.

One of the most important factors when deciding what is newsworthy is timeliness. People are more interested in reading about things that have happened recently. It is why large news sources such as newspapers and television focus on delivering up to date information as soon as possible. Hence the term “breaking news”.

Another factor is that the subject must be of interest to a wide range of people. For example, the death of a well-known person will attract a wider audience than a minor local event. The same applies to other aspects of news such as crime, disasters or natural phenomena.

The key to good news writing is to present the most interesting elements of the story first. This is why the best stories are placed above the fold in a newspaper, and ideally at the top of a news website. The idea is to catch the reader’s attention and keep it.

In addition to a quick introduction, it is important to include the five Ws: who, what, where, when and why. The last W, why is often left out of a news story as it can be difficult to explain in a short amount of space. It is also important to be factual and avoid adding any opinion or editorial into the story.

While some people may question the criteria for what makes a news item, all journalists make the same decisions on the things they think should be reported. It is just a matter of evaluating which events are more significant than others.