News is current information about events, which may be communicated in a variety of ways: through writing, printing, postal systems, broadcasting or electronic communication. It may also be provided verbally or by word of mouth. The term news can also refer to the activities of an organisation generating and disseminating news, or the work of journalists producing news.
In general, what makes news is something unusual or significant that affects a large number of people. It can be about a natural disaster, a political event or a social phenomenon. Often, it will be about people: their achievements and failings, and the things that happen to them.
When deciding whether something is newsworthy, the media will look at a number of factors. Those factors can be described as news value, timeliness and impact. The higher all of these criteria, the more likely it is that a story will be covered.
The first factor is timeliness – news is most valuable when it is new. It does not do readers much good to read about an event that happened a week ago, as the community will already have moved on from it. Similarly, it does not do newspapers much good to publish the same story that they have published in the past.
It is the job of the journalist to decide which stories are newsworthy, not the public. This will usually be done using market research, though there are also a number of journalistic guidelines that must be followed. These guidelines include being accurate and impartial. It is important for the journalist to be objective, so they must not insert their own opinion into the news they are reporting. It is also necessary for the journalist to provide enough information so that a reader can form an opinion on the news they are reporting.
News articles should start with a catchy way of grabbing the audience’s attention, this is known as a lede. This can be achieved by using a dramatic anecdote, a surprising fact or an interesting quote. The lede should also introduce the main topic of the article. A good lead will also include the ‘nut graph’ – the key points of the article: who, what, when, where and why. This will give the reader an idea of what they are about to read and why it is important.
Once the lede has been introduced, it is important to include a range of quotes from the key people involved in the story. This can be done either by interviewing the people directly or by citing their public statements. Including quotes can help to add a personal touch to the story and make it more interesting for the reader.
A good news article will then go on to explain the key facts of the story in detail. This should be done in an organised and clear manner, using a paragraph for each point of the story. Finally, the article should end with a conclusion, which can be a restatement of the leading statement or a forecast of future developments on the subject matter of the article.