What is News?

News is a report of current events that is published in newspapers, magazines and on radio or television. It is an informative and educational form of entertainment. Many people believe that it is the job of the media to entertain its viewers, readers or listeners as well as inform them but this is often not true – most of the time, news stories aim to educate and provide factual information about the world around us, and aren’t necessarily intended to be entertaining. The entertainment aspect of the media can come from other areas such as music, drama and crosswords on the radio or in comics and cartoons in magazines and newspapers.

There are a number of factors which determine whether something is newsworthy and can be published as a piece of news. These include excusivity (a story that is generated by or first made available to a particular news organisation), surprise, contrast and/or good or bad overtones. News is also determined by the magnitude of an event and its effect on a large group of people. It is a difficult task to predict what will be newsworthy but it is easy to see how some of the more sensational stories are created, such as an airplane crash or an earthquake.

An in-depth news article takes a smaller subject and researches it extensively, resulting in a lengthy piece of news which gives the reader a greater understanding of the bigger overarching issue. This type of news article should be without personal bias and offer a balanced view of the facts.

Celebrity and entertainment: stories concerning famous people or a situation with an interesting or amusing twist. Sports: sporting events or a notable achievement by a sportsperson. Weather: stories concerning the weather, including its extremes, and how it affects everyday life. Food and drink: the cost of food, shortages, gluts and seasonal variations.

Often a story will be newsworthy because it is about a person or situation which is unusual, interesting or significant. However, a person’s daily routine does not qualify as newsworthy unless it is especially interesting or significant. For example, a 90 year old man catching the bus to work does not usually make the news but if he was a celebrity who had just been released from prison, it would be newsworthy.

It is often a good idea to find a relatively unbiased news outlet to get your news from – in the UK, the BBC is considered one of the most impartial and reliable sources of information. A good way to do this is to use a news aggregator website which will bring you the latest from a range of different news outlets and give you the opportunity to compare them side by side. Whenever possible, always quote from the source using their full name and both initials. This ensures that you are giving them credit where it is due and avoids jarring the reader with sudden switches between first and second person.