What is News?


News is the information that conveys current and interesting events to people. It can be about any event or happening that is relevant to the public. It also covers controversies and the lives of prominent people. News should be impartial in accordance with the ethical rules of journalism.

The 5 W’s – Who, What, Where, When and Why are important questions to ask when writing a news article. They will help you focus your writing and get the most important details out. Also, think about what makes your article unique and something that only you could write. This will keep the reader interested and draw them into your article.

An example of a news story is an insect that has been found living on a plant that it does not normally inhabit. This is a new and unusual event, but it will not interest the majority of readers. It may be of interest to a few insect enthusiasts and would merit a small piece in a specialist publication. However, if the insect is eating crops it becomes a significant concern for many people and becomes newsworthy.

National publications will concentrate more on events that affect the whole population. This can include political and military actions but also events such as the Olympics or sporting victories. Local papers will be more concerned about events that occur within their area. They may report on local weather conditions or on crimes committed in the vicinity.

People like stories that have a human element. They are eager to empathise with the plight of famous persons or those that have suffered. Controversy is another element that draws people to a news story – arguments, charges and counter-charges, fights and tension all make for exciting reading.

A well written news article will inform and educate the readers, listeners or viewers. It is not the job of the news to entertain – this should be left to other areas such as music and drama programs on radio or cartoons in newspapers. If a news story has a sense of humour it should be included, but the main function of the news is to present facts and current events in an objective manner. This will enable the public to make informed decisions.