What Is News?

News is the latest information about an important event, development or current situation. It may cover global, governmental or local issues. It may also include human interest stories, celebrity gossip or entertainment news. News is often unbiased, but it can be biased depending on the source and the journalist’s prejudices.

It is important to make a conscious effort to stay informed. A strategy should be put in place to do so, as the barrage of breaking news grows daily and both legitimate and dubious news sources proliferate online. A news reader should try to be well rounded, staying informed of international events as well as governmental, regional and local affairs.

The classic definition of news is “Dog bites man; man bites back.” However, this is not a completely accurate definition as what constitutes news will differ from society to society. For example, in some societies, dogs are eaten at feasts; in others, the fact that a dog has been bit by a man will not be newsworthy, even though it is unusual.

Aside from human interest stories, which have a definite appeal, other things that can make news are natural calamities, something new and unique, or anything else of general public interest. In addition to these elements, there must be a sense of urgency that makes the story compelling. The more urgent a piece of news is, the more likely it will be picked up by a news outlet and shared.

Whether the article is about a murder, a political scandal or a natural disaster, the article must be well written and presented in a way that will keep the readers interested. This can be done by using interesting adjectives, but they should not be used excessively, as this can become overbearing and distract the reader from the facts of the story. It is also advisable to avoid using emotive language, as this can be overly subjective and lead to bias.

Another consideration is the target audience. It is important to know who you are writing for, as this will influence everything from the tone of the article to the factual details that should be emphasized. Generally, a newspaper or other news website will have a specific demographic, which may be as broad as the entire population of a city or as specific as an ethnic group.

It is important to be aware of the biases inherent in the news industry. There are no unbiased journalists; they will all have their own prejudices about what is and is not newsworthy. It is possible to find impartial news sites, but they are few and far between. The most trustworthy news sites will use a rigorous investigative process and provide their findings to their readers, regardless of the outcome. In addition, they will strive to present all sides of an issue. These qualities are what separate the best news sites from those that only give one side of the story. It is also important to remember that a news article should not be shared on social media unless the reader has personally vetted it and is confident in its accuracy.

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