What Makes News?


News is information about events that have changed the world in some way. A man going to work on the bus or his wife taking him there may not make news, but if he is driving a car which will be used in a dangerous experiment or is attempting to break a world record then it might. News is important because democracies need informed citizens to govern them. The development of newspaper journalism, broadcasting and the Internet have been key to the growth of democracy in countries throughout the world.

It is not just what has happened that makes news but how it is reported and who decides what is significant or interesting. The deciding factor is usually how much impact something will have on people’s lives. Events which are not important will not affect people in the same way and so do not generate as much interest.

What makes an event newsworthy also depends on the kind of society in which it is situated. For example, it is unlikely that the death of a celebrity would be as big a story in India as it would be in the United States. This is because the deaths of celebrities are considered less important in the Indian context.

The kind of events which do make the news are often called hard news and are what is presented first in newspapers, on websites or at the beginning of a broadcast. They may be political, war, crime or a natural disaster and are likely to have a major effect on many people. They might also be controversial or cause public debate. It is not just the impact, however, which determines whether something is newsworthy; it is also its proximity and whether it involves a famous person.

In the past, most of the stories which appeared in the press were initiated by the government. This is still true of some governments, but most now do not initiate news and rely more on market research to identify the stories which will be most popular with their audience. This does not always work and so it is a mixture of market research, professional judgment and the interests of different groups which determines what makes the news.

It is important that writers of news articles have an understanding of what makes an article newsworthy and the type of tone which is appropriate to the genre. This will help them to produce more accurate and entertaining articles. It will also help them to avoid articles which may be misinterpreted and which do not serve the interests of their readers. A good news story should leave its readers with enough information that they can form their own opinion, even if that opinion differs from the writer’s own. That is why it is vital to proofread a news article before submitting it for publication. It will also be a good idea to include sources in the works cited page.