News is information about current events, developments and issues occurring in a society or organisation. News is also about people, their achievements and failures. The primary function of news is to keep the public informed about what is happening around them, both in their local area and internationally. It can also be used to inform people about politics, economics, culture and science. The media is a powerful tool in influencing people’s views and opinions about events, particularly when it comes to controversial issues such as war and peace.
The way that news is collected and reported on varies greatly depending on the medium of delivery. For example, television news programmes and newspapers tend to focus on hard news – the kind of story that would normally appear on the front page or at the top of a web page. This kind of news is usually time-sensitive and has a wide impact. In contrast, magazines often feature soft news and lifestyle stories which may not be time-sensitive.
When writing a news article, it is important to know your intended audience. This will influence the tone and content of your article, as well as how much detail you include. For example, if you are reporting on a football game, it is likely that you will include quotes from the coach and players as well as fans in the stands. You may also include statistical information such as the number of points scored and the total yardage gained by both teams.
In addition to this, it is essential to be aware of the limitations of the facts you are reporting. It is not newsworthy to report false information simply to attract reader attention. For instance, it is not newsworthy to claim that a certain event will lead to a major catastrophe if this has not been proven. However, if a certain event has been proved to have a high likelihood of occurring, then it is certainly newsworthy to report on this.
It is also important to avoid imposing your own opinion onto the news that you are reporting on. This can be difficult as it is natural to want to provide readers with a greater depth of understanding about the events that you are covering. However, it is better to let the subjects of your story do the talking and provide their own insights into what has happened. For example, if you are writing about a fire that occurred at a home, it is appropriate to interview the residents of the house and ask them about their experience.
It is also important to realise that what makes newsworthy will differ in different societies. For example, while it might not be newsworthy in the US to report that a farmer has destroyed his fields because of an insect infestation, this might be hugely significant in a country where agriculture is a major industry. Similarly, while it may not be newsworthy in the US to report on the fact that an archbishop has said that women should be ordained as priests, this could have huge significance in a Catholic country such as Italy.