The Function of News


News is an important source of information about what is going on in the world around us. It keeps us informed about local, national and international events that are relevant to our lives. It informs us about politics, science, sport, the economy and culture. It also teaches us about other people, their hopes and dreams, and how they live.

The main function of news is to keep the public informed about current affairs and events. It does this by reporting on what is happening locally, nationally and internationally, as well as educating the public about different topics. This can help the public to understand complicated issues and make informed decisions.

It can also be a tool for propaganda, which is the aim of some governments to influence and change opinion. The way they do this is by distributing news through newspapers and television, which can be used to promote a particular viewpoint or political agenda.

Keeping the public informed is an important function of news but so too is being a watchdog and exposing corruption and wrongdoing. News often highlights the suffering of those who are disadvantaged in society, which can lead to social change.

Stories which are new and unusual can make the news but they must be of interest to a broad audience. For example, scientists may report that an insect has been found living on a plant it did not previously inhabit. This could be newsworthy for a scientific publication but would not be of interest to a general newspaper or broadcast.

Another factor in determining the newsworthiness of an event is the magnitude of the story, for example, large numbers of people involved. Extreme behaviours and occurrences are also of interest to the public, such as extreme weather conditions, animal cruelty or acts of bravery.

Stories about money, such as fortunes made and lost, are also important news items. So too are the costs of living, including school fees, taxes, food prices, wage rises and compensation claims. News about the arts, such as new works in music, theatre, film and sculpture, are also of interest.

News is usually published on a daily basis in printed form (broadsheet, tabloid or magazine publications), on radio or TV or online. Depending on the type of publication, it may be edited and compiled before being sent for printing or broadcasting. Editors choose what stories to print, lay them out on dummy pages and then edit the finished article before it is published. The writer of the piece is normally credited by name on its final page.

It can be useful for English learners to read the news because it helps them with their vocabulary and pronunciation. However, they should only try reading newspapers that are appropriate to their level of English. For example, it is probably best not to read The Guardian if you are an advanced English speaker but rather to look for news sources that are designed for English learners.