What is News?


News is information that tells what is happening now, or recently happened. The events that make the news each day are not something that occurred 10 years ago, or even last year (unless it is an anniversary of a very big event such as the first man landing on the moon). Gatekeepers who decide what information gets presented in the media consider timeliness one of the main characteristics of news.

It is generally agreed that news should be brief so it can be read, and clear so it can be understood. It should also be picturesque so it can be remembered, and accurate so it can be trusted. The challenge for the writer of a news article is to convey all of this in words that will capture the attention of readers and encourage them to keep reading.

There is often an element of drama in the things that make the news, and the way a story is presented is influenced by culturally shared values as well as a motive to sell news to readers, listeners or viewers. It is not the role of news to entertain, however, and entertainment comes from other sources such as music and drama on radio, cartoons in newspapers or crossword puzzles on television.

It is important to know your audience when writing news, and this is a good reason to tune in to different media outlets. If you listen to a range of radio and TV news programs, for example, it will give you a much fuller understanding of how different people interpret the world around them and how this influences their perspective on the news that is being reported.

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