News is current information about events, people or places, obtained from every moment and everywhere. It aims to inform citizens about their world, in an objective way and in a timely manner. It also tries to keep citizens informed about issues of concern to them. In a democracy, it is essential that citizens have access to information that is independent of outside influence and is free from ideological bias. This is why a free press is called the oxygen of a democracy.
When writing a news story, the writer needs to decide which aspects of the subject are most important. They must also make sure that the article is clear and concise. If it is not, readers may tune out.
A good starting point is to think about what people consider interesting, unusual, significant and relevant. This will help to guide the selection process.
Some of the most popular news values include:
Crime: Corruption, robbery, forgery, murder, rape and other criminal activity make news. In addition, crimes that involve high numbers of people or are especially cruel or gruesome tend to be newsworthy.
Money: Stories about fortunes made and lost, compensation claims, the economy, taxes, the Budget, food prices and wage rises are of interest to the public. The relative importance of these will vary between different societies.
Proximity, controversy and prominence are also key elements of newsworthiness. Stories about people who are famous or who have done something controversial or surprising attract attention. They might be about celebrities, politicians or other public figures.