What Is News?


News is a piece of information about something that happened recently and is important to the public. It is usually reported in a newspaper or magazine, though it can also be found on the internet. News is written by reporters, who are referred to as journalists. The writer of a news article is given credit by including his or her name at the bottom of the page. The information in a news article is gathered from several sources, and is organized according to its importance.

There are many theories as to why some information becomes news. One popular idea is that it must be unexpected, and that this is what makes it interesting. Another idea is that news must be presented in a way that will grab the attention of readers, listeners or viewers. The most effective way to do this is through headlines that are provocative and exciting.

A third theory is that news must be based on events that are happening now. This is often referred to as the “immediacy” factor. It doesn’t do a newspaper any good to report on an event that happened last week; the community has already moved on by the time the story is published. The last thing you want is to have an uninteresting or irrelevant news story that no one will read.

Once the writer has chosen a subject, he or she must research the topic and gather as much information as possible. This should include answering the five Ws of news writing: who, what, where, when and why. It is also helpful to look for patterns in events that occur over time. For example, if a high-end restaurant closes on the same block as three other restaurants that closed last year, this is probably worth mentioning.

Regardless of the method used to gather information, all journalists must be ethical in their reporting. This means they must cite their sources, if available, and indicate where the information came from in the article. This is done to maintain the integrity of the journalist and to give credit where it is due.

It is also important for the reporter to know his or her audience. Most newspapers and magazines are geared toward a specific demographic. For example, if a paper is based in Kansas City, its target audience would be residents of the city and its surrounding areas. This is important to consider when creating an article or distributing it through social media.

Lastly, it is important to remember that the job of the news media is to inform and educate its readers, listeners or viewers. This is not to say that it cannot entertain them as well, but entertainment should come from other areas – music and drama on television and radio; or, in a newspaper, cartoons and crossword puzzles. Information should be delivered in a way that will keep the reader or listener interested and informed. In doing this, the media should be objective, not swayed by marketing research or public opinion.