News is a story about something that has happened recently and which relates to the world, politics or culture. It is usually presented on TV, in newspapers or on radio. It can be dramatic, exciting or sad. It is often about people, but it can also be about a natural disaster or an accident. It might be a crime, such as robbery, murder or vandalism. It might be an event that has occurred, such as a cyclone, bush fire or drought. It might be an accident involving an aeroplane, train or ship.
It might be about money, such as a bank collapse, stock market fluctuations or compensation claims. It might be about the way we get and spend our money, including school fees, taxes, food prices, wages and budgets.
Many things are not newsworthy. For example, if you missed the bus to work this morning and had to walk all the way there, that would not be interesting enough to make it onto the 5:00 pm line-up of local television or on page one of the newspaper. But if, on that walk, you found a litter of abandoned baby tigers and took them to an animal shelter, that could be newsworthy.
What is newsworthy will differ between different societies, but some general characteristics are understood by all of us, whether we are journalists or simply regular readers/watchers/listeners of news. These include timeliness, drama, consequence, proximity and narrative.
If the news is about a significant event or development, it will be interesting and important to most people. If it affects a large number of people, or even an entire community, it will be particularly newsworthy.
In the past, trained journalists and other news personnel were the major suppliers and gatekeepers of news. But now, with everyone having access to information and the ability to share it instantly over electronic devices, more and more people are becoming news suppliers, reporters and editors. They can even become the primary gatekeepers.
Some of these new suppliers are amateurs who just enjoy putting together a story for the sake of it, while others might be motivated by a desire to inform, influence or persuade the audience. In either case, the quality of the news they produce can have a profound effect on the lives and thoughts of all of us. This is why it is so important to tune in to a variety of sources of news. It will give you a much fuller understanding of what news is and how it influences the world. It will also help you to be less swayed by the news that is put before you on the basis of one person’s biases. This will lead to a more open-minded view of the world and might even change the way you think about it.