What Is News?
News is information about events, people or places which has the potential to affect the daily lives of the population. News stories are typically written for a general audience and aim to inform, educate and entertain. The content of News is not necessarily dull but the main function of this type of writing is to make the audience think. The most important thing to remember when writing a news article is to always be factual and avoid injecting your own opinion.
Depending on the type of news story, the information can be taken from different sources and it is the journalist’s job to decide what facts should be highlighted. Some theories claim that the media delivers the news that the audience wants based on market research, while others argue that journalists follow a set of judgment guidelines to determine what is newsworthy.
The classic definition of news is that it should be unusual, interesting and significant. The meaning of what is considered unusual may vary from one society to another, though. For example, if a man wakes up, has breakfast and takes the bus to work every day, this will not be newsworthy – it is normal and everyday behaviour. However, if he does this in an unusual place or in unusual weather conditions it might be newsworthy.
The most common topics for news reports are war, politics, education, health, business and the environment. Other important subjects include sport, fashion and entertainment. It is often hard to find unbiased news stories as the opinions and prejudices of both the journalist and the news outlet are likely to influence the content of the news report. This is particularly true in the case of opinion pieces. However, a news site that clearly marks opinion columns as such and employs dozens of fact-checkers and professional journalists is less likely to have an agenda than a site that does not.