News is current information about events and occurrences in the world that people may find interesting or significant. Historically, news was delivered via newspapers, but today it is available on all sorts of platforms, including radio, television and the Internet. It is an important element of society, as it helps to inform the public on what is happening around them.
The definition of what is considered to be news can vary widely depending on the individual or group delivering the information. It can be controversial or of interest to a certain demographic, or it could be something that is simply noteworthy. Oftentimes, what is considered to be news can change as time passes and people gain a new perspective on a subject.
Generally speaking, it is important to consider the audience when writing news. This is especially true for a newspaper, as they are likely to have a targeted demographic that they are geared toward. This may be based on location (i.e. a Kansas City paper may focus on the area’s residents), or it could be based on the subject matter (i.e. a paper covering zoning laws might be geared towards business owners).
It is also important to consider how much of the story should be dedicated to facts and how much should be devoted to opinion. A good rule of thumb is to provide readers with the most relevant information first and allow them to make their own opinions based on that information. In addition, it is important to be careful when presenting opinions, as these can be biased and are not always factual.
When composing a news article, it is important to remember that it must be brief because most of the time it will be written only moments after an event takes place. As a result, the writer must be able to quickly identify the important elements of the story, gather that information efficiently and present it in a clear and concise manner.
One way to achieve this is to write in the third person. It can be jarring for readers to read a first person account of an event, particularly if that first person is the reporter himself. When it is necessary to use a first person account, it should be kept short for appearance and clarity. Similarly, it is important to be consistent in the use of initials, as this can help to avoid confusing the reader.
A common saying is that a news article should be “brief enough to read, clear enough to understand, picturesquely presented, and above all, accurate.” Although this is not an easy task in a fast-paced world, the readings, discussions, exercises and assignments in this course will introduce tomorrow’s journalists to the basics of coverage and writing news. Using these skills, they will develop the ability to report and write about events as they happen and to do so at breathtaking speed. The goal is to train them in the fundamentals of gathering and reporting the news so that they can help citizens to make informed decisions about their lives, their communities and the world they live in.