What Is News?


News is the information that reaches people via the media. It may be broadcast on television, published in a newspaper or magazine, posted online or simply yelled across a classroom. News can be serious or lighthearted but it should always aim to entertain, inspire and educate as well as informing.

Most news stories are about people and what they do. This is because people’s lives are a source of interest, especially when they do something extraordinary or unusual. News can also be about things which affect people – such as the weather, the economy or natural disasters.

People’s interest in the lives of famous men and women make them newsworthy too. Their careers, homes and lifestyles are of interest, but even more so when they fall from grace or get involved in scandal. News about health is another big draw – whether it’s traditional remedies, medical research, diseases, hospitals or clinics. Sex is another subject which is generally considered to be newsworthy, although many societies do not talk openly about it.

Timeliness is important in the business of news. Stories that are old and stale lose their appeal, so it is vital to be on top of events and have a system for gathering and writing news quickly. The best journalists are those who can report a story as it unfolds, without losing sight of what is really important in the process. A good way to approach this is to use the classic upside-down pyramid structure for organising your work – a summary at the top followed by the main points in more detail lower down.