What Makes News?


News is any information that affects the daily lives of people. The type of information that makes news differs according to the culture and location of a society. It could be anything from the death of a well known politician to a local festival or even a traffic accident. News stories are generally brief and aimed at providing an overview of important events. It is important that they are factual and accurate. This allows readers to make informed decisions. It is important that journalists do not impose their own opinions on the news they report.

A good rule of thumb is that a story must meet five criteria to be considered newsworthy: it must be new, unusual, interesting, significant and about people. A story that does not meet all of these will usually not be published in a newspaper. For example, the assassination of a famous person is a newsworthy event, but it is not likely to be covered in tomorrow’s paper, because it happened days or even weeks ago. However, if some of the facts about this assassination are revealed for the first time, then it will become news again.

Other criteria that newsworthy stories must meet include: exclusivity, conflict, proximity, violence and scandal. However, it is difficult to define these criteria in a way that can be applied consistently across societies. For example, a man biting a dog is newsworthy in most societies, but it may not be so in others.

In addition to these factors, the newsworthiness of a story also depends on its impact. This can be measured in terms of magnitude, which refers to the number of people affected, or in terms of severity, such as loss of life. A story is also considered to be more important if it is unexpected and if it has the potential to generate controversy or emotion.

The newsworthiness of a story also depends upon how familiar it is to readers. The most popular news articles tend to be those that are local, involve violence and scandal, incorporate a celebrity or prominent figure and are timely.

Once journalists have identified the newsworthy aspects of an event, they must decide how to present it. This involves deciding which facts to emphasize, what order to place them in and what level of detail to provide. It also involves identifying how to present the story in a way that is appealing and engaging for readers.

Traditionally, newspapers have focused on providing a balance of positive and negative news stories. This is because a balanced view of the world is important to many people. While some people want to hear about things that are inspiring, others need to be reminded of the negative consequences of their actions. A free press can teach, it can illuminate and it can inspire, but it will not change the world unless humans are determined to do so. A free press, therefore, can only be as good as the people who use it.