News is information about events in the world and it is used to inform, educate and entertain. It can be a story about war, politics, religion, business, science, technology, celebrity, a sports event, an accident or any other happening. News can also be about people – their actions, achievements and failures. It can also be about non-human events such as cyclones, bush fires, earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.
A good news article will be concise, clear, picturesque and informative. It will avoid using subjective language such as ‘as it happened’ and ‘it has been reported as’, and instead use the words ‘it is believed to have happened’ or ‘it is believed to be true’. The best news articles have quotes from eye witnesses and do not contain the writer’s opinions. They follow the inverted pyramid format, with the most important facts appearing first and then supporting information following.
It is thought that the oldest form of news was conveyed verbally, with stories being passed from one person to another until they reached a newspaper or other source for publication. During the 20th century, printed news began to emerge and radio and television became major channels for the transmission of news. The Internet now offers the possibility of instant communication globally, allowing news to reach consumers almost as soon as it occurs.
Generally, what is newsworthy is anything that affects or changes the lives of large numbers of people, or has the potential to do so. This is often interpreted as being a political, economic or social issue that is either significant or unusual, and may have an impact on the world at large. It could be a major sporting event, an accident, a crime or an unexpected or bizarre happening.
The news media, whether it be a newspaper, magazine, radio or television, has an obligation to inform and educate its readers, listeners or viewers. This does not exclude entertainment, however – music and drama programmes on radio, crosswords or cartoons in newspapers.
While it is the responsibility of the news media to report what is important, it is also up to its audiences to decide what is really worth knowing about. This is why so many people subscribe to a number of different news sources and read, watch or listen to a wide range of subjects.
Finding a reputable news source is important as bias can influence the news that you see and hear. A good place to start is with an international outlet that covers a broad range of topics. Online news aggregators, like Google News, can also be useful. These sites will show you articles from multiple news outlets and can be customized to only include certain types of content. You can also find unbiased sources by choosing to only receive news from specific geographic regions. By selecting different news outlets and reading their reports side by side, you can get a better understanding of how different organizations interpret and present the same event.