What Are the Characteristics of News?


News is information about current events. It can be broadcast on TV, radio or printed in a newspaper. It can also be posted on websites. Most people read, watch or listen to the news to find out what is happening around them. It can help them make decisions about their daily lives. It can also entertain them. Some people even follow the news to keep up with the world’s affairs and to find out what is going on in their own country or region. The news may be about wars, disasters, accidents or political developments.

There are some basic characteristics of news that everyone, whether they work in the news business or simply consume it regularly, understands. These are called News Characteristics and include timeliness, drama, consequence, proximity and narrative.

Timeliness is the most important characteristic of news. A story is only interesting if it is new and relevant to the audience now. For example, a fire in the middle of the night will generate more interest than a fire that occurred in the afternoon or evening.

Stories that are dramatic, interesting or significant capture audience attention. A story that involves a catastrophe, an accident or the death of a celebrity is usually very interesting to the reader. Stories about the economy, health care or politics are also of great interest to readers.

A good lead, or beginning paragraph of a news article, is essential. This is what draws the reader in and gets them to read the rest of the story. In journalism school they call it the inverted pyramid, which starts with the most important information (who, what, where, when, why and how) at the top of the first paragraph. This is followed by more details and background information in the next paragraphs.

The news media – newspapers, radio and television – is meant to inform, educate and entertain. It can entertain in many ways, from music and drama programs on radio to crossword puzzles and cartoons in newspapers. But the main purpose is to inform its audiences and give them information about what is happening in their daily lives.

Different cultures have different interests in the news. A story about a cow being killed by a lion will have different levels of interest in different societies, for example. It will be more important to one culture than another.

Many of the events that make the news are not necessarily true, but are reported as such by the media in order to attract its viewers and readers. This is done because the news channels rely on their advertisers to pay for airing commercials during their news programmes. These advertisements can be viewed by anyone with access to the internet, and so have the potential to influence what is considered newsworthy in other countries or regions as well. This is why the news channels should adhere to a code of ethics and strict standards, as outlined in the Associated Press Guidelines to Journalism and the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Conduct.