What is News?
News is information about events that affect people, their lives or their environment. It can be about war, crime, natural disasters, politics, education, economics, health, the environment and sport. People have been gathering, recording and communicating news since ancient times. It was mainly passed on orally, but with the development of newspapers, radio and television it has become more widely spread. News can also be reported on the internet.
News articles are usually short and concise. They are written in a formal tone and include factual information and quotes from sources. They can also contain opinions and analysis. News articles must be accurate and unbiased. They should provide all sides of a story and be able to explain how an event has affected different groups of people.
The first paragraph of a news article must contain the most important facts. This is known as the inverted pyramid model. It is a principle taught in journalism school. Ideally the information should be presented in such a way that it can be read quickly and understood fully even without the accompanying photographs or graphics.
Things that make news are often dramatic, unusual or have a significant effect on a number of people. They may also be a source of controversy or arouse people’s interest because they are interesting, shocking or embarrassing.
The word ‘news’ is derived from the Latin word “notificare”, which means to inform or notify. People used to tell each other what happened through letters or oral communication, but when the printed newspaper was invented in the 16th century it allowed news to be conveyed in a more organised way. It also allowed information to be more easily distributed, especially in areas where the postal service was unreliable.
It is now common for people to get their news through a variety of media, including newspapers, television, radio and the internet. Different mediums present news in a slightly different way, so audiences can gain a unique perspective and sense of what is happening around them by choosing which form of media to consume.
The most common topics for news stories are political events, crime, disasters and social problems. However, news about the weather is also of interest, as are reports on agriculture, business, entertainment and fashion. News of celebrity, sports and royalty are of particular interest to many readers. Controversy and the personal life of famous people often makes news too. People are interested in the day-to-day goings on of celebrities, and are eager to hear about their private lives. People are also interested in animals, and the fate of endangered species makes for compelling news. News about the environment is often of great interest to the public, as are health and safety issues. Changing laws and policies are often major sources of news too. The media also covers the world of art – who is performing where, and what new works are being produced. It can also report on the latest trends in music, dance, theatre and cinema.