News is information about current events or developments, often aimed at a general audience. It can be found in print, online and on television. There are many different sources of news, and some are more reliable than others. Some tips on choosing a good source of news include looking at the author’s (or organization’s) “about” page to get an idea of their values and level of objectivity. In addition, using online news aggregation services can help you find several different takes on the same event, eliminating some of the potential for bias.
Usually, news is reported objectively and in a timely fashion, though not always. Historically, people used oral means to convey news, such as through town criers or by word of mouth. However, technological advances have enabled news to be transported more quickly and spread widely. Today, news is mostly published in newspapers, magazines and on the internet.
The subjects of news stories are varied, but many of them focus on people and their activities. These can be personal, such as a person’s wedding or divorce; political or business-related, such as a company’s merger or bankruptcy; or socially important, such as a natural disaster or war.
Crime can also be a big part of news, whether it is traffic accidents, burglaries or rapes. More serious crimes and those with unusual or sensational aspects are more likely to make the headlines. Financial stories are also common, such as fortunes made and lost, budget announcements or interest rate changes. Money matters can be especially interesting, as can the amount of a donation made to a charity; for example, if a millionaire gives only $10, this is more likely to make the news than if they gave $100.
Listicles are a popular way to present news, featuring a list of items or points related to a specific topic. This form of news often contains more information than simple straight reporting, and may involve a great deal of research. In-depth news features are similar to hard news, but take a smaller subject and explore it in greater depth.
Some researchers have suggested that the selection of what is deemed newsworthy is not just dependent on what is happening in society, but on what the media thinks the audience wants to read about. They argue that this is a form of marketing, and that the media use market research to determine what their audiences want to hear about.
As a result, the media may have more influence than they claim over what really happens in the world. This has been a significant issue in countries with repressive regimes, where the ability to access and distribute the news is restricted. However, with the proliferation of social media and mobile communication devices, it is becoming harder to restrict the flow of information, even in repressive environments. Despite this, there is still a need for more research into what makes newsworthy, and how the news agenda can be influenced by technological developments.