What Is News?


News is information about events or situations of significance, which may have occurred recently or in the past, or that might happen in the future. It may also include a wide variety of topics such as war, government, politics, education, health, the environment and business. It is the job of a newspaper, magazine or television station to keep its readers informed and entertained by providing them with the latest news and information.

Traditionally, people have transported new information through oral means, such as telegraph and telephone, but with technological and social changes the news has become increasingly written, printed and transmitted electronically. It has been suggested that news is more than just a report about events, but is rather a socially constructed product.

Some of the most common subjects for news reports are involving war, crime, celebrity and finance. These elements make up what is known as news value and the more a story has these qualities, the more likely it is to be considered interesting or important.

A good start for a news article is to consider its demographic. This is usually based on the type of publication or website the information is being written for, and it can be further narrowed down to a specific audience within that group. For example, writing a local news story for an area with a high concentration of elderly residents would probably target those individuals in addition to anyone else.

If an event is very unusual or new it can be considered news, but the degree to which it qualifies as such will vary from one society to the next. For example, a scientist reporting that an insect has eaten its way through a new plant species is certainly newsworthy, but in most places it will be of only limited interest to the general public.

Another factor in deciding what is newsworthy is how current the event or information is. It is rarely considered newsworthy to publish an article about a fire that occurred last week, for example; the community will already have moved on and it is unlikely that the information will be of much use to them at this point.

Once a journalist has decided what kind of story they want to write and on what scale, it is then a matter of gathering the necessary information. This can often involve interviewing those directly involved in the event, such as a firefighter who has just come from fighting a fire or a pet owner who has just lost their cat. However, secondary sources can also be used such as articles from other publications about similar events, information collected by police, or information gathered from other media outlets such as television and radio. This will help to ensure that the information presented is as accurate as possible and will be of real interest to the reader. This is referred to as the mirror model and is the basis of much news writing.