What Is News?


News is a brief account of something important that has happened, or about which people are talking. It may be about people, places or things and it is usually based on a factual basis, although it can also contain an opinion. News is normally presented in a chronological order and the article should be short, concise and written in clear, simple language. The headline should catch the readers attention and pique their interest. The body of the article should follow a structure called the inverted pyramid, with the most critical information appearing at the top of the story and less important details following downwards. The writer should try to avoid expressing their own opinions and let the facts speak for themselves.

The news that is reported depends on the interests of a particular society, with different events having varying degrees of significance in each case. Some events will be of universal interest, such as war and natural disasters. Other events will be of interest only to a small group, such as religious ceremonies, or political activities of a certain government.

Some events will only be news if they are new. It is not newsworthy to report on the assassination of Mrs Gandhi if it has already been reported in yesterday’s papers. However, events that are new and significant can be newsworthy even if they have occurred earlier.

For example, scientists may discover an insect that lives on a plant which it did not previously inhabit. This discovery is very important to the scientific community, but might only interest a few people in a general news broadcast or newspaper. However, if the insect is a pest that destroys crops, then this becomes very significant news.

People are also interested in the activities and personal life of famous people. This can be especially true if these people are involved in scandal or fall from grace. People are also interested in their own health and wellbeing, so they will be interested in news stories relating to medical research, hospitals and clinics. They will also be interested in news relating to diet and exercise, and in some cases sex even though most societies do not discuss this openly.

The most important factor in determining whether or not an event is newsworthy is how it affects the readership. In the past, it was possible for newspapers and radio stations to be selective about which news they reported, but the modern media industry is becoming more and more crowded and competition for readers has intensified. This means that journalists are increasingly being forced to report on all manner of events that might not be newsworthy in other circumstances, despite the fact that they do not necessarily have any great value to the average reader. This has been reflected in a decline in the quality of news reporting over time. This has been offset by the rise of websites that aggregate the output of many news outlets and allow their readers to choose what they want to read.