What is News?
News is current information about events that affect a wide range of people. It is reported on in a variety of media including newspapers, magazines and radio and via the Internet. It is sometimes referred to as hard news.
Generally, a story is newsworthy if it meets at least five criteria: newness, unusualness, interest, significance and proximity. However, it must be remembered that what is important in one society may not be significant to another. For example, a coup d’etat in the neighbouring country might be very important to that society but not to yours.
The main reason why a story becomes news is that it has the potential to influence people. This could be directly, through its impact on people or indirectly through the effect it has on other groups of people. For example, a disease which affects a large number of people would be newsworthy as it will probably have an impact on the economy and social life of that group.
People are also interested in stories about people who are famous or who have done something remarkable. This is particularly true if the person is of great public interest and/or has been involved in scandals or tragedies. It is not just famous sports people who make the news but also those who achieve great things through determination and over a long period of time.
Other types of news include sex, entertainment, human interest and animals. People are interested in stories that make them say ‘Gee Whiz!’ but they are probably more interested in stories that are interesting, important or significant to them.