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What is News?


News is a brief account of a current event or development which may interest and influence the general public. It can cover any subject including politics, crime, business, fashion, sport and the environment as well as more personal or local topics such as weddings, births and deaths. News is most often conveyed through the written word, such as in newspapers and magazines, but it can also be heard on radio or TV and via the Internet.

The content of a story can determine its status as “News” and this will vary between societies. The way in which something is regarded as newsworthy will depend on the social and cultural values of a particular society. For example, a story about the death of an important political figure will be seen as more significant in some cultures than in others. The same is true of stories about natural events – a cyclone, bush fire, flood or earthquake will be newsworthy in some places but not in others where these types of disasters are less common.

In many cases, the decision of whether a particular event or development is newsworthy is made by the audience rather than by the journalists or editors of a newspaper, magazine or broadcaster. News is defined by the people who read, watch or listen to it and this is what gives it its value. The more people who deem a particular piece of information to be newsworthy, the more popular it is likely to be.

When it comes to writing news, the key is to keep it short and engaging. A well written news article will be factually correct and interesting but should also be able to convey an emotional or ethical dimension to the story. This is a challenging balance to strike but it can be achieved by using compelling quotes and images, by presenting facts in a way which is easy to understand, and by considering how the story might affect a reader’s emotions or beliefs.

As with all writing, there is always the danger of bias in news reporting. This is because reporters and editors are human, and their backgrounds, beliefs, culture and experiences can influence their interpretation of a situation or the choice of words they use. In addition, the owners and sponsors of news outlets have their own agendas which can shape what is reported and how it is presented.

When it comes to sourcing your news, try to avoid clickbait or propaganda. These types of stories are designed to catch your attention and will usually contain false or misleading information. Instead, look for sources which seek to inform the public about a range of viewpoints on a topic. Examples include VOX, Refinery29, The Skimm and Flare’s Explainer series. Ultimately, the best source of news is the one you trust and know to be reliable. If in doubt, don’t share a story on any platform unless you have researched it and are sure it is accurate.