What is News?


News is information about current events that are important to people. It may be broadcast on television or radio, printed in newspapers and magazines, or posted on the Internet. It can also be verbally transmitted, such as when someone yells the news across a room. News can also be written down, such as in a letter or diary. It is usually presented objectively, but opinions can be included. News can be used to educate or inform, or it can be used to manipulate the public’s perception of reality.

The term “news” is derived from the Latin novem, meaning new things. The early fourteenth century saw the emergence of the first town criers, who shouted the latest news to the citizens of Florence, Italy. The news they provided was often a combination of the local and the national, the familiar and the strange. It included events of interest, such as wars and famines, as well as accidents and scandals.

Models of News Making

There are several models which help to explain why certain stories become newsworthy. These include the Mirror Model, the Bargaining Model and the Organizational Model. The Mirror Model suggests that news reflects and amplifies real life and events. The Bargaining Model suggests that various groups try to influence the news media by exerting pressures on the governmental process. The Organizational Model is concerned with the way that companies and interests attempt to influence journalists and promote their own views through the news media.

In order to be newsworthy, an event or development must be new, unusual and significant. It must also be relevant to a wide number of people. For example, a scientist may report that an insect has been found living on a plant that it does not normally inhabit. This would be of interest to other scientists, but it is unlikely to capture the attention of a general news broadcast or newspaper.

Crime is always of interest, but especially when the crime is violent or involves a high profile person. Other stories that are frequently newsworthy include weather conditions which affect people’s daily lives, the cost of living (e.g., food and energy prices), the health of famous people and their personal lives, and sex (although many societies shy away from discussing sex openly).

When writing an article, it is important to know who you are targeting. Most newspapers and websites have a clear demographic in mind which they aim to reach. This can be as broad as the entire city of Kansas City, or it could be a more specific group such as residents with children. It is also helpful to focus on a particular topic area if possible. For instance, if you are reporting on the opening of a new retail store in a commercial district, your audience is likely to be business owners and realtors. In addition, an effective news story should begin with a dramatic and interesting hook, or lede, to get readers’ attention.