News is information about current events. It can be provided through various means including word of mouth, printing, postal systems, broadcasting and electronic communication. The earliest forms of news were probably oral communications but today most people obtain their information through newspaper articles, radio and television. News is also available on the internet and many websites specialise in providing breaking news.
News stories have to be interesting and should be accurate. However, there is a danger that people will take the information they read as absolute truth. It is important to be able to distinguish between news and opinion, and to realise that all sources have their own biases.
The main purpose of a news story is to inform and educate people about the world around them. It is not necessarily to entertain but entertainment can come from other areas – music and drama on radio and TV; cartoons and crosswords in newspapers. Generally speaking, news stories should not be so sensational that they are ‘fake’ but that does not exclude the fact that they can be exaggerated for dramatic effect.
It is very important for journalists to be able to evaluate their own information before presenting it to the public. As a journalist, it is your duty to ensure that all facts are correct and presented in an impartial manner. This is especially important when dealing with controversial issues such as religion, war or crime.
A lot of information comes to us through the media and it is important to be able to distinguish between true news and fiction. This is particularly important when consuming the news through the internet and 24-hour news stations where you may be exposed to a great deal of information.
The most important element of a news story is the timeliness of the event and the extent to which it affects the general population. It is important to be able to provide the reader with the background information on an event so that they can form their own opinions about it.
People are interested in the lives of famous people and their careers. It is not uncommon for them to want to read about how they are doing, particularly when they are falling from grace or losing money. People are also interested in health and it is common for them to be interested in stories about hospitals, clinics, traditional remedies, diseases and drugs. In some societies, sex is a major source of interest and people will often be interested in stories about the private lives of others even when they do not talk openly about it themselves.
It is important to keep in mind that something can be newsworthy even when it has happened before. The reason why is that the event may have taken place in a way which is unique or unusual. For example, it might be the first time that a certain type of animal has been killed in the wild or that a certain method of warfare has been used.