What Is News?

News is an item of interest or concern, often about people, places or events. It is a genre of writing that includes stories, editorials and reports that are published on a regular basis. Generally, the news is presented in a current and relevant context to a target audience. It may be published in various forms including newspapers (broadsheet, tabloid and periodical), magazines, radio and television. It may be distributed daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly or at other times as determined by the publication.

It is difficult to define what makes something newsworthy, but some of the most important criteria include exclusivity, curiosity, conflict and magnitude. The ability to capture the imagination is another desirable quality, as is the potential to generate discussion and/or debate. A story should also be able to be verified and sourced.

Generally, journalists will try to break the most significant news first and in as much detail as possible. In addition, they will look for a sense of urgency and the ability to convey the scale of an event. It is also necessary to consider the target demographic when deciding whether a story is worth reporting.

To find the right topics to report on, a journalist will use primary and secondary sources. Primary sources are those who can provide information directly related to the topic in question. For example, a reporter might interview someone who has been affected by a fire to get their perspective. They might also speak with experts who can offer commentary and analysis.

Secondary sources are pieces of information that have been collected from other sources. For instance, a reporter might review previous coverage of a fire to learn more about the causes and consequences. They might also consult with other professionals who can provide insight into the situation, such as a veterinarian or a firefighter.

Once a story has been written, it is typically read and edited by the editor before being sent for publication. Ideally, it will be given the go-ahead by the chief editor. The editor will check for accuracy, consistency and tone and to ensure that the piece is appropriate for the publication. They will also determine if it meets the publication’s criteria for a feature article.

A feature article is a type of news story that focuses on a particular subject and investigates it in greater depth. For example, a feature article on a house fire might explore how the fire spread and its impact on the neighbourhood.

It is also important to remember that, in the digital age, audiences are becoming increasingly involved in selecting and disseminating news, which may influence both their own behaviour and journalistic decision making (Thurman and Myllylahti 2009; Welbers et al. 2015). As a result, the process of defining what is newsworthy and how it is reported is more complicated than ever before.