What is News?


News is information about a significant change or event that has just occurred. It can be reported by a variety of sources, including newspapers, magazines, radio and television. It can also be gathered via the Internet and social media networks. The most important thing to remember about News is that it should be presented objectively and without bias. It is the job of journalists to inform and educate their audience. It is not the job of news to entertain. Entertainment comes from other areas of the media – music and drama on radio; crosswords and cartoons in newspapers and magazines.

A good news story will be new, unusual, interesting and significant. It should also involve people. It will be of interest to a wide audience and have impact. It will have a sense of urgency and immediacy. It will have some element of conflict and controversy.

The way a story is told may change the significance or importance it holds in different societies. For example, an assassination in one country will be a major news story worldwide, but it may not be significant to the inhabitants of another country.

Some factors that determine how big or important a story is are the magnitude (how many people affected), proximity (does it affect local communities) and whether it has an emotional resonance (does it arouse a positive or negative response). Exclusivity – where the news item can be attributed first to the journalist – is a highly desirable quality for a piece of news, as is prominence (the presence of a well-known person involved). The size of the audience can also be a factor, particularly in the case of international events; it is relatively easy for governments to shut down a newspaper or radio station but much harder to close the Internet or confiscate mobile phones.

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