What is News?

News is information about events occurring in the world. It may be provided through a variety of media including newspapers, radio and television. It can also be provided through word of mouth and through the testimony of witnesses.

Definition of News

There are many ways of defining what is news, but we tend to use the term to mean anything that is interesting or of interest to people in a particular society. The way in which we judge news is often very different in different societies, but the five criteria for what makes a story news are still the same everywhere:

Currency: Stories about money and economics – the Budget, the amount of money made and lost, tax, wages, food prices, compensation claims and so on – are all news. It is not only large sums of money which make us interested; small donations to charity events are also newsworthy.

Emotion: We feel much more keenly about a story which touches our emotions than one which does not. For example, news of an animal which hurts people is very newsworthy – it is likely to get more attention than news about a rich businessman who gives $100 to a poor child.

Controversy: We like to hear about controversies, arguments, splits, strikes, fights and tension. We also like to read about prominent people whose lives are under scrutiny.

A good news story has to be new, unusual, interesting, significant and about people. It should also have some positive overtones, so that it is worth reporting. It should be accompanied by audio-visuals (such as photographs, video and infographics) to attract readers and generate sharing through social media platforms.