The Importance of News


News is the information that media (such as newspapers, magazines and radio) report on current events. It is often based on the five basic criteria of being new, unusual, interesting, significant or about people. The stronger these elements are in a story, the better its news value.

The purpose of news is to inform and educate the public about world events and about things that affect their lives. However, news is often dramatised and sensationalised in order to attract attention and to sell.

This is because the news industry relies on advertising revenue to pay for staff and production costs. News stories are compiled and presented by journalists who often have competing priorities to fulfill. It is important for them to keep in mind that the people who read their news do not necessarily share their viewpoint or values.

Hence the need to be objective in reporting. However, a balance needs to be struck in the delivery of news, especially in times of conflict and crisis. In addition, the news media is often compelled by culturally-shared values to provide entertainment to their audiences – whether it is through music and drama programs on radio or cartoons and crosswords in print.

While the news may be important, it is not always easy to identify what is newsworthy and what is not. The most important consideration is what is relevant to the audience. It is therefore necessary to understand the cultural context of a story and how it will be interpreted by the audience.

There are many other factors that determine the newsworthiness of a story. For example, controversies make good news because people are interested in the conflicts, arguments, charges and counter-charges, fights or tension that they contain. Prominent people are also of interest to the news media because of their status and what they do. This is particularly true when these people fall from grace or become involved in scandal. Health is another topic of concern to the news media, as is fashion and beauty, animals and sports. All societies are also interested in sex, although they do not like to talk openly about it.

In order to write a good news article, it is important to ask the five questions – who, what, where, when and why. In addition, it is essential to source the information correctly and avoid using jargon or abbreviations that can confuse the reader. In other words, the news should be reported briefly so that it can be easily understood, clearly so that it can be appreciated and picturesquely so that it will be remembered. It should also be interesting so that the reader will say, Gee Whiz!’. (No one actually says this anymore, but it illustrates the point.) It is important that the story be accurate, because misinformation can have serious consequences. A misreported piece of news can damage a company’s reputation and lead to legal action. It can also lead to an inaccurate and misleading interpretation of the news.