What Is News?
News is information about a change in the world or the development of a new situation. It can be delivered through the written word – in newspapers, magazines and broadcasting – or it may be conveyed orally or by signs. People have been transporting news stories since ancient times, and the development of printing, postal systems and communication networks has increased the speed and scope of news dissemination.
The most important fact in a news story should be highlighted immediately, above the fold (the term is taken from newspapers which have a crease along the middle). This helps to capture the reader’s attention and encourage them to keep reading. It is also a good idea to follow up main facts with additional information, or quotations from sources who have insight into the subject.
There are many different models for what constitutes news, but they all have the same aim – to inform and educate. There is a belief that the news media should not entertain, but this can be done through other outlets – music and drama on radio and television; crosswords and cartoons in newspapers.
When deciding what is newsworthy, it is important to think about your audience and where they live. For example, if you are writing for a local newspaper then the news should be about things which happen in your community. You might want to touch on national or worldwide events but they should take a back seat to local news.