What is News?


News is information about events, people or places that affects the lives of the people who read newspapers and watch TV and radio. It includes reports on political, economic and social developments in a society. It also includes entertainment news, such as sports, music and art. In a sense, it is the record of what happens in a society and provides a link to other societies.

What Makes an Event Newsworthy?

In general, a news story will appeal to people because it is unusual. However, how unusual is the story may vary from one society to another. For example, in some societies dogs are eaten, so a man biting a dog is not likely to be newsworthy. In general, a story is most likely to be newsworthy if it has a high impact, if it incorporates violence or scandal, if it involves an unfamiliar location or if it occurs in the past.

People are interested in the weather because it can affect their daily lives – especially if it is extremely hot or cold, or if there is a drought or flood. News stories about food supply and prices, crop diseases and harvest sizes are of interest to the people who grow or buy their meals. The same is true of stories about art, cinema and theatre – who is performing where and when. People are also interested in famous people and their activities. It is generally newsworthy when a well-known person becomes involved in a scandal, falls from grace or is murdered.

The purpose of the news media – newspapers, magazines, radio and television – is to inform and educate the people who read, listen or watch them. It is not necessarily to entertain them, though it can do that in some instances – for example when an event has a humorous element or if it makes the reader or viewer laugh. This is usually done through the use of puns, jokes and humour.

How do journalists decide what to write about?

The journalists who choose the news to publish will have made a judgement about how important and interesting a story is. They will have considered what their readers are interested in, what is significant and what is already being reported. They will have also assessed how much time and space the story can be given in their publication – the biggest stories will be given more coverage and prominent placement.

In addition to these factors, a journalist’s own personal biases or prejudices can influence their selection of the news for inclusion. For example, if the journalist is liberal they may have a tendency to report positive news more than negative. This may lead to them being biased in their reporting. There is an increasing amount of research into the influence of these factors on news selection, but it is a complex issue and further study is needed to fully understand how and why they influence the selection of stories.