News is a collection of information about important events that occur in a society. People often read newspapers, watch TV or listen to the radio to find out what’s happening. It’s important for businesses to stay up to date with news so that they can be informed and educate their customers. In addition, using a news article as an advertisement can be a great way to get the word out about a company’s new products or services.
It is generally accepted that the role of the media – newspapers, magazines, radio and television – is to inform and educate their audiences rather than to entertain them. The entertainment should come from other areas – music and drama on radio; cartoons and crosswords in newspapers.
What makes a story newsworthy is a complex issue. A few general rules are recognised: A story must be new, unusual, interesting and significant. News is also judged in terms of its impact – whether it affects a large or small audience, and how much people care about it. For example, a story about a bug that is destroying crops may not be of interest to everyone, but the fact that it could affect their food supply will mean it is of interest to some.
Other factors that affect the strength of a news story include how well it is reported, how visual it is and how long it will take to read or hear. A good news story is reported clearly and pictorially and is based on reliable sources. The journalist should be careful not to include personal opinions or interpretations, which may taint the credibility of the story.
A major difficulty in deciding what is newsworthy is that the same event will have different levels of importance in different societies. If a farm wall collapses and kills a cow and a pig, it will not be as important to most people as a coup in the neighbouring country, and so will probably not be reported. However, the death of a pig or cow may be important to a local community and so will be reported.
A famous person making a public statement is likely to make news, as are the views of experts on a particular subject. The news value of an event can also be influenced by the time of year and the political climate.