What Is News?

News is information about current events that is reported in a newspaper, magazine or on the radio. It may also be conveyed by word of mouth or through written correspondence such as letters or postcards. It may also be transmitted electronically, such as by email or via the internet. The news media often provides opinions as well as factual information, and sometimes gives the audience the opportunity to participate in a discussion about what they have read or heard.

People are interested in news about themselves, their families, communities and the world in general. Common topics for news stories include war, crime, government and politics, education, health, fashion, business and the environment. Celebrities, sports figures and historical events are also often the subject of news articles. Other news items of interest are weather, travel and entertainment.

The beginning of a news article should grab the reader’s attention with a dramatic anecdote or surprising fact. This is often referred to as the lede or the lead paragraph. The article should then proceed to present a “nut graph” that answers the questions who, what, when, where and why. This should give the readers a complete understanding of the news story and why it is important.

Once the nut graph is completed, the writer should provide further details on the topic of the article, including any quotes from those involved in the event. This helps to add a human element to the story and can often help to create an emotional response from the reader. The news article should then conclude with a statement that restates the leading paragraph and possibly indicates future developments related to the story.

A well-written news article should be accurate and impartial. This is a basic responsibility of journalists, who perform a valuable service for citizens by reporting the truth and not promoting their own views or opinions. The internet has made it easier for false or biased news to spread quickly and to a large audience, so it is important to check the facts of a story before believing it.

The goal of news is to inform and educate the audience – not to entertain them. This does not mean that the news should be boring, but rather that entertainment should come from other sources such as music and drama on radio or television, or from features in newspapers such as crosswords and cartoons. Similarly, it is important for journalists to seek out opinions that challenge their own and to be aware of the biases of their own sources. This will help them to make better, more informed decisions. It will also enable them to be a voice of reason in a sea of opinion.