What is News?


News is information about events, either past or present. News articles are usually factual, but they should also be interesting, and even entertaining for their audience.

The classic definition of news is “Man bites dog; this is news”. However, the same event can have very different news value depending on whether it is a man who bites a dog in his own home or a man who bites a dog outside a cafe. Other criteria that determines newsworthiness are:

Exclusivity: Stories which are not available to other media or published first by the news organisation. Involvement: Stories which involve people who are of interest to the readership (politicians, celebrities, sportspeople etc). Badness: Crime, tragedy and disasters. Shareability: Stories which are thought to generate sharing and comment on Facebook, Twitter etc. Magnitude: Stories which are felt to be significant in terms of people, time or cost involved.

The key is to decide what your readers want, and how to deliver it in the best way possible. A snappy headline is essential, and it’s best to put the most important parts of the story above the ‘fold’ (a term referring to the crease in a newspaper page). The story should be clear and brief and include quotes from reliable sources, but should not contain your own opinions. In addition, a good news article will be accompanied by visuals which add to the reader’s experience of the topic and help to engage the reader.

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