What Makes News?
News is information about events that have recently occurred or that are of interest to the public. It is usually reported in the form of written text, broadcast over television or radio and distributed via the Internet. It can be a highly effective tool for delivering information to the public, but it is important that it is accurate and impartial. News can serve many purposes, including acting as a watchdog to monitor and expose abuses of power and corruption, and providing a source of entertainment and leisure. It is important for individuals to assess their own needs and find a news source that best suits them.
Depending on the society, the definition of what makes news will vary. In some societies, it may be newsworthy when an animal acts in a way that is not normally seen. In other societies, it may be more interesting to hear about a famous person’s life or activities, especially when they are involved in scandal.
It is also common for a particular type of event to become newsworthy based on the impact that it has on people. For example, natural disasters such as earthquakes, cyclones and bush fires are all common topics for news stories. The human element in these stories often adds to the appeal, with a focus on people’s reactions and how the event has changed their lives.
A well-written news story will include all of the key facts relating to the event being reported. This will typically include the five Ws – who, what, where, when and why – as well as any quotes from interviews or other sources. It is also essential to use the correct style of writing for the topic being covered, with a clear structure and grammatical accuracy. A good rule of thumb is to write using a simple style which can be easily understood by non-experts, for example, ‘Dr Jones used this equipment to study malaria’, rather than ‘Dr Jones used this equipment to research malaria’.
Once the main facts have been included, any additional information should be added to help round out the story. This could include contact details, links to further reading or additional facts about the event. If the article contains an opinion, it should also be included at this point and clearly stated.
Finally, it is a good idea to let someone else read the piece before it is published. They will be able to spot any grammatical or spelling mistakes and may be able to simplify awkward sentences. It is also worth checking for any bias, as this can be a problem with some news outlets.
The most unbiased news sources are those that follow the Associated Press guidelines to journalism and the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Conduct. Alternatively, there are many websites that provide a variety of different news sources in one place, allowing users to compare the various perspectives on an event. This is particularly useful when researching international news.