News is information about current events that is delivered to the public via the mass media. It can be found in a wide range of sources, including newspapers, radio, television and the internet. News can be political, social, or economic in nature. In most societies, a large proportion of the population will be interested in a free and diverse flow of information that keeps them up to date on their local community, nation or the world.
A free press is often regarded as the oxygen of democracy, and for democratic society to function properly it must be able to access information about government, businesses and people in a fair, objective and independent manner. News is also important to educate and inform a citizenry, and it helps promote awareness about issues in the public domain.
What makes a story newsworthy? There is no definitive answer to this question as the criteria for what makes a story interesting varies between societies. However, some of the more commonly identified factors include:
Impact: how many people are affected? Proximity: does it happen close to home? Controversy: does it involve a lot of debate? Prominence: does it affect a famous person? Currency: does it make headlines? A good news article should capture the attention of the reader and arouse their curiosity. This is achieved by stating the key facts of the story in the introduction, providing an overview of the key points of the event and then giving detail about the event or situation as it unfolded. It should also provide some background to the topic and identify those involved.
The structure of a news article is dependent on the type of newspaper it is being written for, but some common elements include:
It is often suggested that there are certain things that are always newsworthy such as war, politics, crime and natural disasters. However, this view is often challenged on the grounds that the news value of a particular event can depend on the way in which it is presented.
When writing a news article it is important to write clearly so that the reader can understand what you are trying to say. Moreover, it is important to give the reader some context so they can place the story in its wider socio-political environment. This is especially important in the case of international news where understanding the wider context of an event can help the reader to understand its significance and relevance.
It is also a good idea to supplement the main facts of the story with some additional information such as contact details, additional facts about the people involved in the story or quotes from interviews. This helps to give the article a more human touch and allows readers to engage on an emotional level with what they are reading. Finally, it is a good idea to include an opinion section at the end of the article which allows readers to form their own views about the event or situation.