News is current information about events, issues and people. It is a major source of information in modern societies, and is transmitted via newspapers, radio, television and the internet. It is the responsibility of media to convey accurate, objective and timely information to the public.
What constitutes news varies from society to society. For example, if an animal dies in one place it may not be of interest to another because that is a part of the natural order. However, if it is unusual or significant it may be newsworthy. A man waking up, having breakfast and catching the bus to work each day does not usually make the news because it is normal and uninteresting.
Often the most interesting and important part of a story is about the people involved. If they are famous or well known, their life and actions are of interest to most people. They are also of interest when they become the focus of a scandal or controversy.
In addition, many people are interested in what goes on in other places, and this can be newsworthy as well. It is also newsworthy if something happens that affects the entire population, such as a national disaster or a world event.
The most popular topics for news stories are war, politics, government, business and economy, education, health, weather and the environment. However, any topic can be newsworthy if it is unusual or significant enough. For example, an assassination of a politician is a very big story, and so is the death of a celebrity.
A news article should start with a snappy headline which tells the reader what the story is about. It should then list all the important facts clearly and in order of importance. This is called the inverted pyramid style of writing and is taught at journalism schools. Generally the most important facts will be placed in the first paragraph, with each subsequent paragraph adding more and more detail.
Once the main points are written it is often a good idea to add any further details which may be of interest to readers, listeners or viewers. This could include contact details, further facts about the subject or quotes from interviews with people who were involved.
The aim of news is to inform and educate. However, it can also entertain – for example by music or drama programs on radio, cartoons in newspapers and crosswords on TV. This is not an essential part of the job, but it can help to attract attention and increase audience share. It is also a way for the media to promote itself and show how much it is in touch with the interests of its audience. This is especially important when there are competing news sources. For example, a government-controlled news network such as Russia Today can attract many viewers who might not have subscribed to a Western news channel such as CNN. This is because the media can present its own perspective of world events.