What Is News?


News is the media’s reportage of current events. It covers all aspects of human life and activity, from major international events to local council meetings, as well as sport, weather, the arts, crime, and social and economic issues. It may be either hard or soft news. Hard news generally carries more importance and has greater impact. It is more likely to have a greater influence on public opinion and policy, while soft news often informs opinions but does not affect the policies of governments or businesses.

It is important to note that news stories can be manipulated by a number of factors including the source, timing and the tone of writing. The newsworthiness of a story can also be influenced by the audience’s desire to hear certain things. For example, a story about a war in a country where many people have family members serving in the military is unlikely to be seen as of interest to most readers.

A good news article is able to draw in the reader and keep their attention by following a clear structure, with the most important facts at the beginning of the piece. This is known as the ‘inverted pyramid’ model. It is important that the lead paragraph contains what journalists refer to as the “5 Ws” – who, what, when, where and why.

While it is easy to find information about News, it can be difficult to determine which sources are the most trustworthy. Luckily, there are several tools available to help you spot unreliable news sources. These include fact checking sites, such as Snopes and PolitiFact, which check if the information provided is true or not. Additionally, sites that aggregate multiple sources will allow you to see different perspectives on the same news event.

One of the most common problems with news is that it can be skewed in favour of a particular viewpoint or agenda. This can be caused by the desire of a newspaper to appeal to a particular demographic or to boost advertising revenue. It can also be a result of bias within the organisation itself or from individuals working on the paper. It is therefore important to try and identify any sources of bias in news reports, preferably before reading them.

Another issue with news is that it can be written using jargon that excludes those who are not familiar with the topic. This is particularly a problem in professional publications such as newspapers, magazines and websites for specific industries. This jargon can be difficult to understand for those outside of the industry and can act as a barrier to understanding the news.

As an example, it can be challenging for those who are not familiar with medical terms to understand a news item about a new breakthrough in medicine. In this instance it is best to seek out more detailed, explanatory articles that put the news into context for non-experts.

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