News is information about events that affect people, companies or nations. It is usually reported in newspapers, magazines, radio and television but can also be accessed through the Internet. It can include facts, opinions and analysis but is often reported in an objective way avoiding expressing bias or personal point of view. Many governments impose rules of impartiality on news broadcasters.
People want to know what is happening around them. This is why they read the newspaper, watch TV and listen to the radio. The goal is to be informed, so that they can make decisions about their lives and the world they live in. People are also interested in entertainment news, such as what is going on in their favourite hobby, sport or show. This is why they tune into their local radio station to hear about a sports game or to a popular television show.
Some things that happen are of great importance to people – for example, war, floods, earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. People are also interested in the weather, because it has a direct effect on their lives. They will be interested in how hot or cold it is and what the weather is like at different times of the year. They will also be interested in their food – whether there are shortages or gluts, the price of food and what is new in the supermarkets.
Famous people make news if they have affairs, are involved in scandals or do things that go against society’s generally accepted standards. They are also interesting to read about if they have achieved something significant, or if they lose a lot of money or get into debt. People are also interested in their health, so they will read news about diseases, hospitals and clinics, medical research, alternative medicine and diet and exercise. Sex is also of interest, although many societies do not discuss it openly and will only talk about sex in the context of crime or marriage.
It is important that a story is accurate and does not infringe any laws or regulations. It is also important to consider how the story will be received by the audience. This will influence whether it is given prominence on a website, printed on the front page of a newspaper or aired on the news bulletins at lunchtime.
The biggest stories are given priority and will be covered in detail. The less significant ones will be relegated to a lower status, such as an inside page of the paper or to the news bulletins. The same applies to other forms of media – a TV or radio show will only cover major news items that are likely to have an impact on the public.
The most accurate news comes from primary sources, such as official press releases and government bodies. However, some sources are not unbiased and will have their own political agendas. A good source to check out is AllSides, which provides a crowd-sourced bias rating for each article. This is helpful when trying to discern the true meaning of a particular piece of news.