News is information about things that have happened, are happening or might happen in the future. It may also include information about the history or culture of a place or of people. News is usually reported by journalists in newspapers, on TV news programmes, radio, cable or the Internet. It is important to distinguish between factual and opinionated news. Opinionated news, even if based on factual events, can become biased and lose credibility.
Events that are not newsworthy because they do not occur often are usually not reported, but that does not mean that they cannot be newsworthy if they are unusual or of interest to many people. For example, a man walking his dog and feeding it at the park may be an unusual event, but it is unlikely to be of great interest to other people. However, if this man were an Olympic athlete or a celebrity, it might be of much greater interest.
People are interested in news about famous men and women, what they eat, how they spend their money and what they think and feel. They are also interested in news about the weather, the environment and other natural phenomena. In some societies, they are even interested in sex, although this may be difficult to discuss openly.
In order to make something newsworthy it must be new, unusual, interesting and significant. Then it must be presented in a way that makes it easy to read, and illustrated in such a way that it is pleasant to look at. It is also important to remember that not all news is equal and a newspaper or TV news programme may have different audiences.
News is what catches the attention of readers, informs them briefly, clearly and picturesquely, and, above all, captures their imaginations. It is what makes them say “Gee Whiz!”
There are many theories about what determines what is newsworthy. Some experts believe that the reaction of the audience is a major factor, especially when the audience is reacting to a particular story or news item. Others, however, argue that market research only helps journalists get the message across successfully and does not dictate what should be newsworthy. This view is also known as the Mirror Model and argues that news should reflect reality. A final theory is that the decisions about what becomes news are made by a group of people who work in a news organization, or are in charge of it. These people are called editors, news directors or, depending on the medium, news managers. They take recommendations from reporters and other staff members and decide what is to be included in the news.