What Is News?

News is the information that is disseminated to the public, usually through a newspaper, magazine or television. It can cover any subject of interest, but typically it focuses on current events and human-related stories. It can be hard to find and verify, so it is important that people rely on only reputable sources.

In the past, newspapers were the primary source of news, but now with the advent of the internet and social media, the number of sources is overwhelming. It is important to read and re-read the news you consume to make sure that it is factual and not biased. People have conscious and unconscious biases that can affect how they interpret and present news, so it is important to be aware of these as well.

Some of the most important news is about natural disasters, fires, floods, wars and accidents. These are often tragic, but also provide valuable insights into how our society works and what needs to be done to improve it. Other news is about the economy, food and drink, health, housing, politicking and sports. Some of this is more subjective, and what is interesting in one society may not be of interest to another. For example, a farm wall collapsed and killed two cows but saved many pigs – this would be considered newsworthy in the United States, but not so much in Australia.

The lives of famous people are always interesting and can sometimes be newsworthy. This is particularly true when they become embroiled in scandals, lose their wealth or die. Stories about their children are also of interest, as are those of the elderly and disabled. It is important that any news about people is sensitive and reflects the dignity of the individual involved.

A story about the weather is always of interest, particularly when there are unusual variations in temperature or rainfall. The price of food and drink is also of interest, as are droughts, shortages and surpluses. People are also interested in the health of themselves and their families, so stories about hospitals and clinics, diseases and remedies are newsworthy. All societies are interested in sex, but it is generally less newsworthy unless it involves behaviour that goes against the accepted norms of the community.

A local government or school system can be a good source of news, as can many online aggregation websites that collect articles from multiple outlets. These websites can be helpful because they are free and offer the opportunity to see a wide variety of perspectives on an issue, rather than only one slant on it. However, it is advisable to check facts and citations before sharing online. Also, it is important to know your audience when writing news. An article about a school function might be geared toward parents with young children, while an article about the zoning laws of a commercial area will be more of interest to realtors and business owners. This will help to ensure that the information you are providing is relevant and useful.

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