What Is News?

News is a topic that is a great deal of interest to many people, whether they are interested in what’s going on around them or in what is happening in the world at large. The idea behind news is to report the facts of a story as quickly and accurately as possible, in order that the information can be disseminated to as wide an audience as possible. This is a vital function, especially for democracies, whose citizens must be informed to make the best decisions about their lives and society.

Essentially, any event that is new or unusual is newsworthy. This can be something as small as a local fire or a celebrity death, or as large as an earthquake or war. The key criteria for what is considered to be ‘news’ are: novelty, impact, significance and proximity. This last relates to how much an event affects the daily lives of people: something that happens in a remote part of the world may not be as interesting or important as an event that happens close to home.

While it is the responsibility of journalists to decide what is newsworthy, it is also the duty of the audience to inform themselves about what is occurring in their country and the world. The free press is often described as the oxygen of democracy, and democracies cannot thrive without an informed citizenry. However, there is a danger in the way that some people consume the news, ignoring or misinterpreting what it’s telling them.

A lot of what is reported in the news is the result of a lot of painstaking research and work by journalists. This information is then carefully compiled and analysed for accuracy and relevance. In addition, all journalists should try to present the news in an impartial and fair manner, not swaying their opinions.

Another important aspect of news is the language that is used. It’s important to write concisely and avoid overusing adjectives. For example, it’s acceptable to use ‘brilliant’ when talking about an event or person, but not ‘excellent’. In addition, it’s good practice to always use first names or initials for people in the article. This avoids jarring readers with switches between first and second person.

In addition to hard news, some of the news stories that are written take a specific subject and do a lot of additional research into it. These are called in-depth pieces and can be a great source of information for students learning to do research and write articles. Some examples of these would be a piece on the effects of climate change, or an article about a local business opening a new location. A good place to find these is online on sites like VOX, Refinery29, The Skimm and Flare’s Explainer series. This will help students to see how a journalist may approach an in-depth piece and the different methods they use.

Theme: Overlay by Kaira Extra Text
Cape Town, South Africa