What Is Newsworthy?
News is the communication of current events and information. It plays an essential role in a democracy by keeping citizens informed about local and international issues that affect their lives. It also acts as a watchdog, exposing corruption and wrongdoing by politicians and other powerful individuals. Finally, it provides entertainment and leisure through feature articles, lifestyle segments and cultural coverage.
The term “news” derives from an Old English expression meaning “new thing”. People have been sharing information about important or unusual events since ancient times. Over the centuries, advances in technology – including printing presses, telegraphs and radios, and later televisions and the Internet – have helped to speed up and expand the dissemination of news.
But not all information is equally newsworthy. What is interesting enough to make the cut as news depends on many things, such as how new and important an event is, whether it has a strong emotional component, how controversial it is, and how much public debate surrounds it. It also depends on whether the news is sourced from a trustworthy and reliable source.
News can also be based on speculation and conspiracy theories. However, it is important for journalists to distinguish between factual news and opinion pieces and to present facts in a balanced way. The best way to do this is to ask questions of the sources and use evidence to verify the facts.
In a democratic society, citizens need to be informed about the world around them in order to participate actively and responsibly in politics and civil society. This is why a free press is often described as the oxygen of democracy. But in order for the press to fulfil its vital role, it needs to be independent of political and commercial interests.
The question of what is newsworthy is a complex one, and the definition changes over time. For example, during the Covid-19 pandemic, many people turned to online sources like Twitter and Facebook for information on the disease and possible solutions. But these sources were often politicized and included inaccurate or even false information.
While there are many different kinds of news, some of the most common topics include war, government, politics, education, health, the environment, business, fashion, and entertainment. News may be reported on the ordinary or extraordinary, and it is often presented in a dramatic or entertaining way to capture the reader’s attention.
Some of the most interesting or important events do not necessarily make the news, for example, when a man wakes up, eats breakfast and goes to work on the bus. While these things might be significant for the individual involved, they are not of interest to the general public and therefore do not constitute news. But other stories are considered newsworthy because they are rare or unexpected, such as the disappearance of a plane from radar screens in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean or the death of a celebrity. These events generate curiosity, a sense of urgency and fear or awe, and raise awareness about important issues.