What is News?

News is information about something important that has happened, is happening or will happen. People have been sharing information and exchanging news for centuries. Modern communications, espionage and propaganda networks have greatly speeded up how fast and widely news can be spread. It is important to keep up with the latest news on all levels – international, governmental and local.

When deciding whether to publish or broadcast a story, journalists look for a number of things. A story must be new, unusual, interesting and significant. It must also be about people. Whether it is a person, event or organisation, news stories are about how they affect the lives of their audience.

It must also be relevant and timely. People are interested in a wide range of news stories. They are interested in a person’s life or death, celebrity gossip and the fortunes of businesses. They are also interested in news about war, business, crime and natural disasters. They are often also interested in the health of themselves, their family and friends – stories about traditional remedies, hospitals and clinics, diseases, diet and exercise are all common news items.

The most popular and successful news stories are the ones that capture people’s attention, imagination and empathy. These are the stories that make front pages of newspapers, headlines on websites and the starting point of radio and television news bulletins. They are generally hard news stories – they often involve violence and scandal and have a broad impact.