News is a report on current affairs or events that are likely to interest or concern people. It may be a story about wars, crimes, natural disasters or local issues. News is usually presented on television, radio or in newspapers but nowadays it can also be found on the internet and Facebook. Many professional journalists and other trained people supply and report the news, but people with access to electronic devices can also be suppliers and even reporters. This means that the traditional models of newspaper circulation and radio/TV broadcasting may be in danger of being undermined, as the gatekeepers of news have been removed by the technology.
The content of news is determined by the interests and values of the society in which it exists. This is why the classic example of “dog bites man” does not always make the news. If, however, the man in question is a person of significance in his society and the dog was normally eaten (at feasts, for example), it is more likely to be considered newsworthy.
It is also important that the event or issue being reported is new. An assassination that happened last year cannot be news this morning, unless it is being reported for the first time. This is why many journalists consider timeliness to be one of the main elements that determines whether something is newsworthy.
Many people like to read, watch or listen to news that is interesting or exciting. They may also want to be informed or educated. Hence the popularity of educational news stories such as science and maths news. People are also interested in news about famous and well-known people. This is especially the case when these people are doing something unusual, such as going bankrupt or getting married. People are also very interested in stories about health, including the treatment of disease, hospital openings and closings, traditional medicines and new medical procedures. People are also interested in stories about food and drink – whether the rich are eating too much or the poor are not having enough to eat. They are also interested in stories about the weather, particularly if it is unusual.
People are interested in news that affects a large number of people. Therefore, national papers tend to focus more on events that affect a larger population than local papers.
Many people are also interested in entertainment and will look for news about music, dance, theatre, cinema and carving. They will also seek out news that is humorous or amusing. It is the job of news to entertain, as well as inform and educate, but this does not mean that it should be sensational or violent. In fact, there is a strong tendency for news to be reported in such a way as to generate drama. This is partly because the media, particularly television and radio, want to keep audiences interested in their programmes so that they will continue to watch or listen to them.