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What Is News?


News is information about events that are current and of public interest. Generally it is reported on TV and radio, but can also be published in newspapers and magazines. In modern times, the internet has greatly increased the speed at which news can be distributed and forwarded around the world. It is important to sift through the huge amount of information available to make sure you are getting true, factual news.

A good way to tell if something is news is to consider the “five Ws”: Who, What, Where, When and Why. A good story will answer all of these and include some background information to help the reader understand the full picture.

Some things that are new and unusual may still not be news. For example, scientists might report that an insect has been found living on a plant which it did not previously inhabit, but this would probably only interest specialist publications or enthusiasts. However, if the insect is a pest that can destroy crops it could be very significant news.

The classic definition of news is that it should be “newsworthy”. This means that a piece of news has the potential to influence the way people behave or the way government policies are made. The reaction of the public to the news is also important and can affect the impact that it has.

Different societies have different interests and priorities, so what is newsworthy in one country may not be newsworthy in another. For example, a man stealing money from a bank in London is newsworthy in the UK, but not in the US, because it has a direct impact on people’s daily lives and their financial security.

It is important to balance the hard-hitting news with sources of light and levity, and to read from a variety of perspectives. The best way to do this is to use online aggregators like Google News. These collect articles from many different news outlets and filter them for you based on your interests. The best of these also give you the option to turn on and off sections of the site so you can avoid certain types of articles or political perspectives.

The internet can be a great source of news, but it is easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information. It is worth taking the time to research the origin of a story, especially if it has a controversial or shocking headline. Look for the name of the author and their credentials, and try to find out if they are a real person or organisation. It is worth remembering that the internet is a great tool for spreading propaganda, so be wary of news that seems too good to be true or has an extreme political bias. It is also useful to check facts by using websites which actively fact-check stories, and to consider whether your own beliefs might be influencing your judgement. It is also a good idea to take the time to check out photos, as they can be manipulated easily with image-enhancing software.