What Is News?

News is information about current events that is obtained and reported quickly. The news media is responsible for delivering this information to the public, and it has an obligation to be impartial in doing so. News can cover a broad range of topics, but it is typically concerned with politics and government, economics, education, health, science and technology.

News can be delivered in many ways, including through written and oral means. Newspapers, magazines, radio and television are common mediums for news delivery. The internet has also become a valuable source of information and can provide multiple perspectives on the same event. The purpose of news is to inform and educate, not entertain. However, this does not mean that news cannot contain elements of humour. For example, radio and television programs that feature comedy skits are often classified as news.

The process of determining what constitutes news is a complex and ongoing one. A good starting point is to consider what types of information are considered to be the most important and newsworthy in a particular culture or community. Then, consider how those events might be reported to a wider audience. For example, the death of a celebrity might be considered newsworthy in a celebrity culture, while that same event might not be newsworthy in an environment where social and cultural values place greater value on personal privacy.

Another important aspect of the news process is how it’s sourced and vetted. When sourcing a news article, it’s critical to look for information from sources that are well-respected in the field. In some cases, this may mean looking for sources from academic institutions. In other cases, it may mean identifying experts on the subject matter and asking them to weigh in on the issue.

It’s also important to consider the biases of a given news outlet. There is no such thing as a completely unbiased news story, and a given journalist’s prejudices can influence everything from the language used in a piece to the decision of whether or not an event qualifies as newsworthy. A quick way to determine whether a site is trustworthy is to look at the site’s about page, which will typically list its company ownership, members of leadership and the mission statement and ethics statements of the organization.

While it’s crucial to stay informed, remember that too much news can be bad for your mental health. If you’re constantly inundated with breaking headlines, it can be easy to lose track of the bigger picture and make unhealthy decisions based on fear or anger. To avoid this, seek out a mix of sources and read more thoughtful or “explainer” pieces (like those from VOX, Refinery29 or Flare) that offer context and nuance to an event rather than simply reporting it. And be sure to take a step back when sharing stories on social media – think about why you are sharing them, and whether they have the potential to trigger others or contribute to harmful misinformation.