News is a medium that presents current and interesting events to the public. It can be found in print, on television or radio, or on the internet. Regardless of its form, news has a significant effect on people’s lives. It affects how we live, where we live, what we think about our governments, and how we interact with each other. News can be a source of information about political and cultural issues, and it can also provide entertainment and leisure activities.
The news that makes it into a newspaper, on the TV news line-up, or on a news website is the decision of the people who work for that media outlet. They are often called editors, or news directors, and they have many assistants working for them who help them sift through the daily events that happen all around them. They are also sometimes referred to as gatekeepers, because they decide what gets published and when.
The main characteristics that make something newsworthy are timeliness, drama, consequence, proximity, and narrative. A story that has a clear good and bad, like a robbery at a convenience store, for example, will most likely make the news because it will have a strong dramatic component. This is because the public tends to like stories that involve dramatic or tense situations.
Another important characteristic of news is that it has to be new. This means that if an event has already happened, it cannot be reported as news. The only exception to this rule would be if some facts about the event suddenly became known for the first time. This could be the result of a tip or a break-in, for example.
A major purpose of the news is to serve as a watchdog, keeping politicians and other powerful figures accountable for their actions. This is done through investigative journalism, which can often uncover hidden truths and expose corruption or wrongdoing. This is a critical function of the news, and it is one that all outlets should strive to fulfill.
People also look to the news for a sense of connection and belonging. This is done through features and social coverage, which can give readers a glimpse into the world of other people. It can also be a way for people to escape from the stress of everyday life through entertainment and leisure coverage, such as music or cinema.
Finally, the news serves as a record of history. Events that are historic or of great significance, such as wars, elections, or natural disasters, can be recorded and shared through the news. This can help to create a sense of unity among the people and can inspire them to be more productive or compassionate. It can also serve as a source of pride, especially when a country or city has achieved a remarkable accomplishment. For this reason, the news is a vital part of the fabric of society.