News is the information that affects a community and keeps them up to date with events. It can be in the form of a newspaper article, radio or television broadcast or an Internet message or website. It aims to inform and educate and may sometimes amuse. It can also inspire and enrage, but the main purpose is to let people know what is happening in their community. It is often reported by professional journalists but can also be written by anyone, including ordinary citizens. The traditional line between professional and amateur journalism has blurred, as has the distinction between for-profit and non-profit media.
Many factors determine what is newsworthy. Some of these are:
The news is generally seen as the most important part of a newspaper or other media publication, and is usually presented on the front page. This is because the most important news is the news that will have the greatest impact on the reader. It is therefore the most likely to be read or watched.
News about people is of interest to readers, especially if they are famous or have caused controversy. This includes the personal lives of celebrities and politicians. It is also interesting to read about animals and the environment, unless it involves something that is particularly disturbing.
A classic test of whether a story is newsworthy is the “dog bites man” rule – if the incident is unusual it is likely to be news. However, this is not always a good guide to what makes the news. A dog bites a man who is eating him at a feast would be newsworthy in some societies but not in others, where dogs are eaten regularly (or even occasionally).
Typically, the most recent stories will have the highest impact on readers. The reason for this is that people tend to have a limited amount of time to read and watch the news. Therefore they will only be interested in the most recent developments.
People will also be interested in what is significant to them. This can be a change in the way that they live or work, such as a new road being built near their house. It could also be something that is affecting them, such as an outbreak of disease or a natural disaster. The views of influential people will also make the news, such as when an archbishop says that women should be allowed to become priests.
National newspapers will focus on national and international issues that affect the whole population. This may include political crisis and wars, as well as sporting events like the Olympics. They will also publish editorials, which are the thoughts and viewpoints of a newspaper’s editor or group of editors.