News is current information about events obtained rapidly and communicated to the public quickly. The word comes from Latin “noticia” or “notification”. It is reported by a wide range of organisations including newspapers, radio, television and internet. News articles can contain either facts or opinions. A good news story will be informative and entertaining, and the style of writing should convey the feeling of the event to readers.
The classic definition of news is that it should be new, unusual, interesting and significant. However, even this is not a universal criteria. If a man bites his dog it may not be news, but if the bite is a rare occurrence and leads to an animal being saved then that might be. It also depends on whether or not the event is unusual in a particular society. For example, a man biting a dog might be news in some societies where dogs are eaten, but not in others.
It is the job of journalists to decide what is newsworthy. They may do this by talking to sources, reading through government documents or researching old articles. They can also do this by attending events and reporting their findings. They are a public service and should be impartial in their reporting.
When writing a news article, it is important to start with the most important information first. This is known as ‘writing above the fold’ (a reference to a newspaper where there is a crease in the paper). This means that people will see the headline and be encouraged to read on.