News is current information about events, people or things that are new or unusual. News stories are reported in newspapers, magazines, on television and radio, and on the Internet. The information that makes it into print, onto a broadcast or cable news programme, or on a website is determined by a group of people who work in the news business and are known as gatekeepers. They sift through all the recommendations made by reporters, assistant editors and others within their organization to decide what will be included in that day’s news. There are different models of what makes News, but they all have some common characteristics.
One of the most important aspects of News is timeliness. News is about something that is happening now, or has just happened. Events that occurred 10 years ago do not make the news, unless they are the anniversary of a significant event. When deciding what to report, the decision-makers (the gatekeepers) must consider the time-frame in which the story will be read or heard, and how it will impact readers.
Another important aspect of News is that it contains drama and has good and bad characters or situations. People are interested in stories that have a clear identification of who is doing what and whether it is right or wrong. For example, a robbery at a store will make news if it involves large sums of money and the robbers are clearly identified as bad guys.
A third aspect of News is that it is significant, either to the individuals involved or to the wider community. A scientific discovery is usually newsworthy if it is significant to the field in which it is done, or if it affects the lives of many people. The discovery of a new disease or drug is often important because it may help to save lives or improve the health of many people.
People are also interested in stories that tell about important events, people or places. The discovery of an oil well in the North Sea is newsworthy because it has a major impact on world affairs. The launch of a satellite is also important because it has the potential to change the way people live.
Finally, people are interested in stories about celebrities and the activities of famous men and women. Stories about how they are achieving success, what they are buying and selling, and the scandals that they get involved in are all newsworthy. The behaviour of politicians and leaders in society are also important and often the source of news. Sex is a huge topic of interest, especially stories about how it goes against the grain or is considered outside generally accepted standards. Other topics that can be newsworthy include food, sport and the environment.