News is a form of communication that informs people about events that affect them. It is published in newspapers, magazines and on radio or TV. It also appears on the Internet. News is a mix of reporting and comment or analysis. Its content is often controversial or emotive. News aims to be useful and entertaining.
The news that makes it into a newspaper or onto the TV news line-up or posted on a website is determined by people who work for the media organization. They are called editors, news directors or even news managers. They take recommendations from a large number of reporters, assistant editors and others within their organization and make the final decisions about what will be newsworthy.
Some of the basic characteristics that most people understand about News include timeliness, drama, consequence, proximity and narrative. The most successful news organizations tend to employ a combination of these characteristics when they decide what will be covered.
In general, the most important news stories are those that have a significant impact on people’s lives. This is why terrorist attacks, natural disasters, accidents and wars all generate a great deal of interest. News about famous people, such as celebrity deaths, scandals and marriages also attracts attention. The news is also a source of information about science, technology and politics, such as the development of new medicines and space programmes.
A sense of urgency – what is happening right now, today – is essential for making an item newsworthy. This is especially true of local news, such as traffic accidents, crime, fires or weather incidents. It is also a key factor for international news, such as a military conflict or political crisis.
People like to read or hear about things that they can relate to – they feel empathy with other people’s experiences and problems. This is why stories about poverty, unemployment and homelessness generate much interest, as do the personal achievements of celebrities or athletes. They are also interested in social issues, such as animal cruelty, pollution and global warming.
There is also a great deal of interest in money, including fortunes made and lost, budgets, food prices, wage rises and compensation claims. Similarly, they are interested in health – treatments, diseases, hospitals and clinics, traditional remedies and diet. In addition, they are interested in sex, even though it is generally not discussed openly in many societies.
It is also important for journalists to know who they are writing for. This is why they have to ask themselves the “5 W’s”. They must find out who their audience is, where they are located, why they are reading the news, what interests them and what they want from it. It is only when they have a firm understanding of their audience that they can start to write an article that will be interesting and informative. This will attract the reader’s attention and encourage them to keep coming back for more.