News is current information about events, obtained at every moment and everywhere, that is conveyed to the public in a brief and objective manner. It presents peoples reactions and opinions as well as prevailing attitudes. News is not a purely academic endeavour, however, as it must be delivered in a way that has a positive impact on the audience.
A good news story is one which meets the following five criteria: it is new, unusual, interesting, significant and about people. Of course, these criteria can be interpreted in many different ways. For example, a man waking up, eating breakfast and catching the bus to work is not newsworthy in itself, but if this happens in the country next door it will be an important news item.
The most common source of news is a newspaper, and for centuries this has been the primary medium for news dissemination. However, with the growth of radio and television and the Internet, the form of news has changed. A lot of people today get their news from the Internet, which is a collection of a wide variety of news sources.
News articles are typically written in the third person. This is to avoid jarring readers by switching between first and second person. Nevertheless, it is still acceptable to use first person in captions or when quoting people who are closely involved with the topic of the article.
To write a good news story, it is essential to know your audience. Asking yourself questions like, who are you writing for, where is this audience, local or national and why are they reading this article will inform how you present the information and what the article is about.
Crime: any crime is likely to make news, but it is more interesting if it involves a celebrity, a high profile case or a particularly serious or unusual offence. People are also interested in stories about money, such as fortunes made or lost, property auctions, bankruptcies, debt, tax increases and compensation claims.
Sex: all societies are interested in sex, and newsworthy stories about it include traditional remedies, hospitals and clinics, medical research, diseases and diets. Sex in the workplace and in war zones is also often of interest, and it is especially newsworthy if it breaks social rules or goes against the wishes of family or the government.
A major event that has a strong global effect is probably the biggest type of news, but even smaller events can be significant if they affect a particular community or cause a great deal of inconvenience or distress. It is usually best to wait until the full facts are known before reporting on them, but this can be difficult in the face of a tumultuous situation such as a political coup or natural disaster. People want to know what is happening in their world and are willing to pay for the privilege of getting this information. This is why the news business is so profitable.