What Is News?

News is a summary of current events that are of interest to the public. Whether it is a story about a natural disaster or a political event, a good news article will provide details that allow the reader to connect with the information and understand how it affects them personally. News articles should also include quotes from experts or people who have a stake in the story, as well as fact-checking to ensure accuracy.

The type of news that is covered can vary by country, as some societies place different values on certain events and how significant or important they are. For example, if a farm wall collapses, killing both a cow and a pig, the significance of the event will be based upon the relative importance of each animal to the community. However, the type of information about the event will be the same.

While any crime can make the news – such as break and enter, forgery or murder – more serious crimes usually have greater news value than minor ones. Money matters are another popular subject for news, with fortunes made and lost making the headlines, as well as school fees, taxes, budgets and food prices, wage rises and compensation claims. Similarly, the little girl who donates ten cents to a fund-raising appeal is more interesting than the businessman who gives $100.

Generally, hard news stories appear at the top of a newspaper’s front page or on the first page of a website and are often referred to as “breaking news.” These are usually major international or national events that are either controversial or have a wide impact. They can also be a human tragedy, such as the death of a celebrity.

Soft news is less likely to be reported and focuses on local or everyday events. These may be a fire, an accident or a sporting event. They are often less dramatic but still worthy of an article and can often be more interesting for a wider audience than hard news.

In the past, it was possible for governments to control news content by shutting down newspapers, radio and television stations. Today, it is much harder to censor the Internet and mobile devices make it easier for people to stay informed regardless of where they live. As a result, it is not uncommon for state-owned media such as Iran’s Press TV and Russia Today to have large audiences worldwide.

In terms of who initiates news, a study by Galtung and Ruge found that 63% of news is initiated by the government. This was followed by the police, then the press and finally interest groups. The study also revealed that the majority of the news that is written is a reproduction of other people’s work, rather than original reporting. This has led to the development of new media, such as local news aggregators that gather and publish multiple sources of news for a particular area. This means that the Internet is allowing news to be created at an unprecedented rate and is changing the way that information is delivered.

You may also like