News is information about current events, developments and issues. It keeps people informed of what is going on in their local communities, countries and internationally. It also serves to educate and explain complex topics, providing background information and different opinions, allowing the audience to make more informed choices.
It is often the case that new events are not always newsworthy, and it is up to journalists to decide whether an event is worthy of being covered. Newsworthiness depends on a number of factors, such as how novel or unusual an event is, how much the event will affect people, and how significant it is. For example, an insect that has been found living on a plant it does not normally inhabit may be newsworthy in a scientific journal but not in a newspaper or general news broadcast.
Generally speaking, events that have a negative impact on people will be newsworthy. These can include natural disasters such as floods, bush fires, droughts and earthquakes, as well as human-caused disasters such as wars, riots and terrorist attacks. Crime is another major source of news, with robberies, murders and car accidents all making the headlines. Newsworthy crimes can also include cases of corruption, forgery and larceny.
Other newsworthy items can include sporting events, changes to laws or public policies and new technology or equipment. It is important to remember that the purpose of news is to inform the public, so the writer should never inject his own opinion or bias into a story. It is also a good idea to avoid using superlatives in a news story, such as “brilliant,” “excellent” or “amazing.” Use of these words can make an article sound excessively puffed up and arrogant.
A news story should be written using the inverted pyramid formula, with key information at the top of the article. The key information should be clearly labelled to ensure that it is easy for readers to find and understand. It is a good idea to interview the people involved in a news story when possible, and to use quotes from them. Whenever possible, it is preferable to use the person’s full name on first reference, rather than just their initials. For example, ‘Dr Jones’ is more descriptive than ‘Jones’. Similarly, ‘Dr Jones is studying malaria using this equipment’ is more accurate than simply ‘Malaria studies’. This will help to keep the tone of the news article formal and serious. It is also a good idea to write in the third person, unless there is compelling reason to do otherwise. This will avoid jarring the reader with an abrupt change in voice and tone. Finally, it is important to always cite the sources of quotes, so that the reader can verify the information. This is particularly important if the news item is controversial or carries an expert opinion. If the reader cannot verify the facts, they will not be convinced that the news is accurate. This can lead to mistrust of the news media.