What is News?


News is information about current events. It may be communicated verbally, written in a newspaper or magazine article, broadcast on TV or radio, or posted online. The word can also be used to refer to the process of collecting and organising the information for publication.

News is often associated with current affairs, but it can also be about sports, crime, money or politics. It can be either positive or negative in tone, and it can be presented objectively or with an opinion. It can be reported by journalists, but it can also be presented by amateurs – people who produce their own videos or blogs to share with the world.

A key factor in deciding whether something is newsworthy is that it must be new. Events which have happened before do not make news unless they are reported for the first time. For example, an assassination may be unusual, interesting or significant, but if it happened yesterday it cannot possibly appear in tomorrow’s papers. Similarly, a man waking up, eating breakfast and catching the bus to work every day does not make news because it is not unusual or remarkable.

What is new can be different in different societies. For example, a dog bites a man may not be news in a society where dogs are eaten, but it will be news if the man was bitten by an animal which was not a domestic pet.

Generally, news is about people rather than things. This is partly because human beings are more interesting, but it is also because many of the most important things which happen in society affect humans rather than non-human animals or objects. Consequently, most news stories are about wars and other violent events, crimes committed, accidents and disasters, natural phenomena such as cyclones or bush fires, weather conditions such as frost or drought and issues affecting people’s health and well-being such as smoking or obesity.

In addition to these major news themes, there are a variety of other items which can make the news, such as:

It is important to remember that just because something is in the news does not mean that it is automatically interesting or significant. For example, the fact that an insect has been found living on a plant which it has never before inhabited is probably of interest only to a specialist or enthusiast audience. However, if this insect is so large that it can devour the whole of the bush grass on which it lives, then it becomes news. This is because it is unusual and significant. It is this sort of event which can often provide the most interesting and stimulating news stories. It is not always easy to separate out this kind of news from the run of mundane and everyday events which do not qualify as news. However, this is an important task for those who write the news.

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