News is information about current events that is conveyed through the media – newspapers, magazines, radio and television. The purpose of the media is to inform and educate people. It can also be used to entertain. But the most important thing to remember about news is that it should be unbiased. This means that a newspaper should avoid expressing opinions or biases about the events in the news.
A good way to judge whether a story is newsworthy is to ask yourself: “Is this new, unusual, interesting and significant?” If it answers all of these questions, then it’s likely that it will be newsworthy.
The most common topics for news stories include war, government, politics, education, health, the environment and business. But anything that affects the lives of ordinary people – such as strikes, floods, earthquakes and disease – can be newsworthy.
Some of the things that make news are purely human: people who die or become famous, arguments, charges and counter-charges, and fights. Other things that make news are controversial – people who say or do strange or unexplained things can be a source of interest, as can items that are considered scandalous or outrageous. People also like to read about celebrities, especially if they’re involved in disasters or other dramatic situations.
Other things that make news are about money – who’s making and losing fortunes, tax rises or cuts, unemployment figures, food prices, compensation claims and the state of the economy. And finally, there are the human interest stories – a child’s first steps or winning a sporting event can be big news.
A news story should always start with 25 words of exciting information which will capture the reader’s attention – in journalist jargon this is called the lede. Then the rest of the article follows logically, introducing more detail as it goes along. The body of a news story should always give credit to where the information came from – this is known as sourcing. It is essential to give full details of the five Ws and H – who, what, where, when, why and how – as well as providing more context in the form of quotes and additional facts and figures.
Most news articles are geared toward a certain demographic. This is usually based on location, for example a local story about an incident occurring in Kansas City will most likely be read by residents of that city. However, a national or international story may appeal to a wider audience. In addition, news articles can be geared towards a particular type of reader or customer – for instance a story about the latest product from a company is aimed at customers.