What Is News?

News is a collection of information regarding events that are happening now, or that have happened in the past. This information can be found in newspapers, radio, television and the Internet. It is often a source of entertainment and education, but it can also be controversial and frightening. In order to be considered News, an event or story must meet certain criteria.

It must be new, interesting and significant. It must be about people. It must be about something that affects the community, nation or the world. It must be able to be reported, researched and written about. It must be able to be understood by the general public and must be unbiased. It must be able to be reported quickly and accurately.

Traditionally, it was the job of a town crier to bring the latest news to the people, but now the task has been taken on by journalists, who are trained in researching and writing the story, and by the citizen journalist, who is an ordinary member of the public who records or writes a report about an event which they believe should be made available to the general public. The Internet has also enabled information to spread faster, particularly in countries with repressive regimes where it is difficult for the government to control or stop the flow of news.

A common misconception is that only the most shocking news is considered newsworthy, but any event which is unusual, important or significant can be considered News. It is a judgment call by the reporter as to what is most likely to interest and inform the readership of the newspaper, radio or television programme. It is usually not the job of the news media to entertain, although it can do so in a variety of ways – music and drama on radio, cartoons or crosswords in newspapers.

There are a number of different models for determining what is considered to be News, which vary according to the needs and beliefs of the audience. For example, the Mirror Model states that news should reflect reality. This is the most commonly accepted model for News.

Another model is the News Agenda, which determines what is deemed to be most important for a particular period of time. This allows for the quick and accurate reporting of News and can help to reduce the amount of time and space wasted on less significant events.

When deciding what is newsworthy, it is helpful to know your audience. Most news articles are geared towards a specific demographic, such as a local area or the readers of a particular newspaper or website. Knowing the intended audience can help you to decide which details to include and what tone to take when writing the News article. If possible, it is a good idea to let someone else read the news article before submitting it for publication. This extra pair of eyes can catch errors or omissions which you may have overlooked.