News is information about events that are happening right now and can be heard on the radio, seen on TV or read in a newspaper. It can be about any kind of event – from an accident or disaster to a war or election. News is usually written to be interesting and informative. It usually has a main point or theme and includes facts to help people understand what is happening. It also usually has a title and a byline (the name of the writer).
A big part of what makes a story newsworthy is its novelty. Ordinary and everyday things do not make news – for example, a man waking up, having breakfast and taking the bus to work. However, if that same man suddenly becomes 90 years old and is still catching the bus every day, then that would be newsworthy.
Other criteria for deciding what is newsworthy include the amount of interest, the urgency and the impact of an event. In general, the more important an issue is, the more urgent and bigger it is, the more likely it will be reported. The speed with which a story is reported depends on its importance and how quickly it can be assessed by journalists. It also depends on the availability of facts.
The importance of an event is often decided by the impact it has on society, politics or business. Some of the most significant events are those which threaten life, liberty or property. These are generally the main stories in bulletins and on Page One of newspapers. Other significant events may be less serious but are still important, for example, the birth of a child, a royal wedding or an Olympic victory.
Many news items are about famous people or celebrities. They may report on their careers, their health or their private lives. People are interested in what rich and powerful people do and how they live. This is especially the case when they are in the spotlight and may fall from grace or get caught up in scandals.
People are also interested in money and the economy. For example, they will be interested in stories about investments, taxes, the Budget and salaries. They will also be interested in how much people are earning, what house prices are rising or falling and how to save money. People are also interested in the environment and animal welfare. They may want to know more about traditional remedies, medical research, diseases, hospitals and clinics and drugs. People are also interested in sex and will be interested in stories about sex offences, STIs and sexual health.
News is available in a variety of ways. It can be listened to on the radio, watched on TV, read in magazines or books and viewed on websites and mobile apps. It can be delivered via enewsletters such as The Skimm or podcasts like The New York Times The Daily or The Big Story. It is possible to share news on social media but this should be done with care, as it can clog up people’s feeds and cause offence.