News is a report on current events or happenings, which may be either national or international in nature. It is an important source of information and provides an insight into the various facets of life on earth. News is also an instrument for social development as it carries a message to the people. It tries to educate and uplift the downtrodden. However, the message that it carries can be either positive or negative depending on how it is used.
It should be brief so that it is read, clear so that it is understood, picturesque so that it is remembered and above all accurate so that it guides the reader in the right direction. The aim of a journalist should be to put before the public such items which are interesting, significant or noteworthy and will cause them to say “Gee Whiz”!
Basically, anything which affects the daily lives of people is newsworthy. The most common subjects for news reports include war, government, politics, education, the environment, economy, business, fashion and entertainment. Government proclamations and announcements concerning royal ceremonies, laws and taxes are also considered newsworthy.
Controversy and events involving famous personalities are also popular with the general public. They like to read about the conflicts, arguments, charges and counter-charges, fights or tension that these persons are involved in. People are also eager to empathise with the sufferings of others.
Oddity, strangeness and the unusual are other factors that generate interest in news. This is because the mind of man is always stimulated to know what is new and unusual. It will be of no interest to a reader in one society if something happens that is usual for another. A classic example of this is the saying that “dog bites dog” is not news, but if the man bites the dog it is news.
When writing a news article the writer should try to answer the 5 Ws (Who, What, When, Where and Why) and also explain how the event occurred. The writer should then write it in such a way as to grab the attention of the reader immediately and keep them interested throughout the story.
In order to make the news more interesting and appealing, it is recommended that pictures be included as much as possible. These are usually taken from the scene of the event and can be very effective in capturing the reader’s attention.
Finding a reliable source of news can be difficult and it is a good idea to use a news aggregator website to gather a variety of different perspectives on an issue. This will allow the reader to form their own opinion of what is really going on in a particular country or area. Generally speaking, the BBC and Associated Press are regarded as being relatively unbiased sources of news.