News is information about current events that is conveyed through various media. It can be published in newspapers, on television or radio, or via the Internet. News articles are generally factual, but can also include commentary or opinion. It is important for news writers to avoid introducing personal bias, and instead focus on reporting the facts of an event or incident. It is also a good idea to get quotes from sources that are directly involved in the story to add credibility and authenticity.
Historically, news has been transmitted verbally. People have gathered and passed around information about events, wars, natural disasters, celebrity deaths, government proclamations and royal ceremonies. Modern communications technologies, such as telephone, radio and television, have accelerated the dissemination of news and influenced its content. Today, the Internet has transformed how and where people get their news.
Aside from the format of the news, there are several characteristics that all news stories have in common. These are called News Characteristics and include timeliness, drama, consequence, proximity and narrative. These concepts are generally understood by all news professionals and those who consume news regularly as audience members.
Timeliness is one of the most important News Characteristics. News that is current has more impact than news that happened yesterday or 10 years ago. It is important for a news writer to understand that it is not their job to tell the world’s history, but to focus on the present and future.
People are captivated by stories that have an element of drama. These stories tend to have clearly defined good and bad characters and situations. For example, a story about a robbery will focus on who was robbed (the good guys) and who did the robbing (the bad guys).
Another aspect of news that often grabs attention is its closeness to home. This can be in terms of location, the relevance to a particular community or the personal impact of the story on an individual’s life.
Conflict is another engaging News Characteristic that can keep a reader glued to the news. Readers are interested in disagreements, rivalries and arguments. Adding an element of surprise to a piece of news can also make it more interesting.
While a business can create news about its own products or services, it is important to consider the audience when creating news. News about a company’s accomplishments is appropriate for general audiences, but may not be relevant to a small group of customers. It is therefore a good idea to target different audiences with separate news pieces. It is also a good idea to vary the medium in which a company conveys its news, as different audiences respond better to different forms of communication. For example, a newspaper article will be read by more people than a broadcast on TV. Similarly, a written news release will reach more people than an audio broadcast on the radio.