News is a collection of events and information that are relevant to the current time. It can be delivered by the print media such as newspapers, magazines and radio, television or via the Internet. The main purpose of the news is to inform the public about events that are occurring in their country or around the world. Depending on the source of the news, it may also be intended to influence the public’s opinion.
To be considered newsworthy, an event or piece of information must be new, unusual, interesting and significant. It must also be easily accessible to the journalist who will write about it. The criteria for what is deemed to be newsworthy are constantly changing and can depend on many factors such as social, cultural, educational and ideological influences, practical considerations (such as the availability of resources and time) and subjective, often unconscious, influences.
The five Ws – who, what, where, when and why – are a classic guide to composing a news story. The first step is to research the topic extensively. This can involve primary sources such as interviews with those involved or secondary sources such as information collected from previous stories on the subject. For example, if an incident of a fire at a building has already been covered by the news media, then in-depth journalism could be done on how those affected dealt with the situation, or even on the reasons for the fire itself.
A large amount of the news that is reported focuses on human interest, such as crime and disasters. These are usually classified as hard news stories and often appear on the front page of a newspaper or at the top of a web site. They place the most important events at the forefront of people’s attention. For example, a riot in the city or a plane crash in the mountains are both big stories that will be placed at the forefront of news coverage because they affect large numbers of people.
Similarly, the deaths of politicians and celebrities are likely to feature prominently in news articles as they impact a wide number of people. The death of Mao Tse-tung is a good example, as it was widely reported across the globe.
Another major element of newsworthy information is conflict and controversy. This can include controversies, arguments, splits, strikes, violence and war. It can also include political scandals and governmental issues such as corruption, forgery or bribery.
Finally, it is common for the news to be accompanied by images and video footage. These are very effective in grabbing the attention of the viewer and can make or break a news article’s impact.
The ability to create and deliver a news article is an extremely valuable skill in the modern world of mass communication. It requires a mix of skills from researching in depth to writing quickly and accurately under pressure. News writers must also be able to adapt their content to different audiences as the needs and interests of various groups differ.