What Makes News?

News is current events reported to the public in an objective, rapid and accurate manner. This is achieved by taking information from everywhere and at every time. The news may relate to anything – murder, politics, sport, weather, war, disasters, fires or even the fact that a man has just got married!

However, it is not simply the facts which make the news; it is how significant those facts are that determines whether something is considered to be newsworthy. Different societies have different values determining how important something is, and these are reflected in the way that the news is judged.

The most important part of a news article is the lead, which needs to grab the reader’s attention. This is often done using a dramatic anecdote, a surprising fact or an urgent breaking news update. It also explains the story, including who, what, where and why. This is sometimes referred to as the “nut graph” because it delivers all of the key facts quickly and concisely.

Once readers have been hooked by the lead they will want to know more. This is where the journalist’s judgement will play a part. The most important facts are included first, followed by those which are less important. Some journalists will then add in-depth information, such as interviews with those involved or the details of the story. This is often called “hard news.”

A well-written news article should include a’shorter’ nut graph at the end of the story. This will tell readers exactly what happened and why it is important. It can also help to place the event in context by describing the wider world in which it occurred. In addition to a nut graph, it is essential that the writer clearly states the source of all information in the article. This can be achieved through direct quotes, paraphrasing or a works cited page at the end of the article. The use of cliches and puns should be avoided if at all possible. These are often unrecognisable to the majority of the population and can alienate them from reading the article. It is also very important that the writer proofreads their work thoroughly, as mistakes will distract from the overall message of the news item. Finally, the tone and style of a news article should be consistent throughout, to ensure that it is easy for the reader to follow. This will be appreciated by all, but particularly those who are used to seeing the same news items in their local paper. This will keep them interested and allow them to come back for more in the future. It will also give the impression that the newspaper is trustworthy and reliable.