News is information that is current, relevant and important to a specific audience. It can be about politics, crime, government, education, science, health, culture, business, fashion and entertainment. News can be hard or soft, but it must always be interesting and accurate. It should also be unbiased, although this is difficult because journalists and editors have their own prejudices which can affect the content of what they report.
News articles can be about famous people (such as politicians, artists or celebrities) and their lives, especially when they do something unusual or controversial. People are also interested in stories about food, hospitals and medical research; and sports and exercise. Many societies are also interested in sex, even though they may not talk openly about it.
There are a number of websites that attempt to evaluate sources of news based on their bias and on the degree to which they conform to a set of criteria such as those established by Galtung and Ruge (1965). These sites, along with the BBC’s impartiality guide, are recommended for anyone who wants to make sure that they have an unbiased source of information and are not being misled. However, there is still a need for empirical attempts to subject taxonomies of news values to the sort of analysis that Harcup and O’Neill (192001) began. This would provide a more rigorous testing of the validity of these theories and also help to develop more sophisticated methods for evaluating sources of news.