What is News?


News is the information that reaches the public about current events. The events may be locally, regionally or internationally important. They may also be of a scientific, technical or social nature. News stories can be delivered in a variety of formats, including written articles and broadcasts on television or radio. In addition, the Internet provides an avenue for the distribution of news, with websites such as Google News aggregating a wide range of different news sources to provide a comprehensive picture of world events.

News stories need to be new, unusual, interesting and significant to attract attention. The news media often follows a formula when selecting stories to publish, but there is no guarantee that a story will meet all five criteria. The same event can have very different news values depending on who is involved, for example a coup in one country and an election in another.

A good news story needs to have a strong lead, which is usually an interesting fact or a dramatic anecdote that is directly linked to the main topic of the article. It must then have a “nut graph” which explains the what, where, when and why of the news item.

The purpose of news is to inform, educate and amuse. Entertainment comes from other parts of the media, such as music and drama programmes on radio or TV, and crosswords and cartoons in newspapers. Those who are involved in delivering the news are unlikely to be neutral, and any bias will affect how comprehensive and objective the news is.