What is News?


Whether it is on television, in the newspaper or on the Internet, News is about current events and developments. These events and developments should be significant, interesting and important to the public. In addition, they should be well researched and presented in a professional manner. Finally, a good news article should have a catchy headline that informs readers of the news topic and captures their interest.

The event or development must also affect a large number of people, whether it be the entire nation, state or community. For example, a man missing the bus on his way to work is not newsworthy if only one person is affected. However, if that same man rescues a litter of baby tigers, the story would be newsworthy because it involves a large number of people and speaks to the larger issue of animal protection and life-saving efforts.

The newsworthy event or development must also be new. If the same information were to be reported in a newspaper today that had been published 10 years ago, it could not possibly be considered news. In deciding what is to be the News, the gatekeepers (the editors or news directors of newspapers, broadcasting or cable networks, and the Internet) look for an event that meets the five characteristics of news: It must be unusual, interesting, significant, about people, and have timeliness. The more a story meets these criteria, the more likely it is to make the News.