News is current information about events, people or places. It can be about anything from a celebrity scandal to a natural disaster or political turmoil. News is a form of public service, designed to inform, entertain or inspire the public.
Whether you are writing an article for your local newspaper or for an online news site, you need to make sure that your story is factually correct and interesting. If your piece is boring, nobody will read it and it won’t be shared on social media.
People are always interested in hearing about the lives of others, especially those who are famous or have achieved success. Stories about them will be of particular interest if they are controversial or unusual. People are also interested in stories about things that happen in their own communities. For example, the school a child goes to or the local sports club are often newsworthy events.
Events which are new and unusual can be newsworthy, but they must still be of interest to a wide audience in order to be considered worthy of being reported. For example, scientists may report that an insect has been found living on a plant which it has never before inhabited. While this is newsworthy, it would only be of interest to an insect enthusiast or a specialist publication and might not make the front page of a general news broadcast or paper.
Stories which are of interest mainly because they have bad overtones may be considered to be good news, but they will only receive this treatment if they are sufficiently shocking or serious. These types of stories usually only feature in the tabloids and will be given greater prominence in these papers than in the quality ones.
In addition to the factors listed above, some newspapers consider other criteria when deciding what is newsworthy. For example, they may look at how quickly the event happened. It doesn’t do a newspaper much good to write about an event that happened last week; the community will have already moved on by the time it is written about.
Other factors include the magnitude of the event, the impact that it is likely to have and the degree to which it affects society as a whole. For example, a large fire will be more newsworthy than a small one, as the former is likely to result in significant property damage and loss of life. A story about an accident or a catastrophe that is particularly well documented or photographed is also more newsworthy than a less-documented event. This type of story is called a hard news story. In contrast, an in-depth news article takes a smaller subject and investigates it heavily, with the aim of providing readers with more information than would otherwise be available. A story about a house fire could be described as hard news, but a piece about the lives of those who were affected by it would be an in-depth news article.