What Is News?

News is information about events in the world. It might be about a war, an accident or an earthquake. It could also be about a celebrity’s death or a sporting victory. News articles should be written objectively and contain no personal opinions. They should include lots of facts and quotes from sources to bolster the story. A good journalist will write in clear and short sentences and use the inverted pyramid format, putting the most important information at the top of the article. The writer should also try to be original and avoid rewriting other people’s work, as this is unprofessional and can damage credibility.

In a society that values truth, journalists must do their best to uncover what is true and report it. This is particularly important in times of crisis. When an event happens that affects the whole community, it should be reported in detail by every newspaper. This is not easy, especially in the case of a large disaster. It may take days or even weeks to gather all the necessary information. But this is what readers expect of their news outlets and is the cornerstone of journalism.

A person who wakes up, eats breakfast and takes the bus to work each day does not make much news. However, if that man is 90 years old and still catches the bus to work, then this becomes unusual news. It is the unusual that makes people want to read about it.

Other criteria for what constitutes news are the magnitude of the event, whether it is important to a significant number of people and how it happened. These are all factors that influence whether a story is worthy of being on the front page of a newspaper.

Another factor that influences what makes a story newsworthy is its timing. A story that happened a week ago is not likely to interest anyone, so it should only be covered if it has a new angle or if there is something unusual about the event.

Some people find it more interesting to read about an event that is controversial or disturbing, which is why stories such as murders and robberies are often considered newsworthy. But not all controversy is created equal; a murder might be shocking, but it can also be boring to the audience.

Some sources of news have more bias than others, and it is important to understand this and be aware of it. Many websites provide information on the bias of different sources and offer suggestions for obtaining unbiased information. A good way to check a source’s bias is to look for a record of its accuracy in past stories. It is also a good idea to look for sites that provide explainer pieces that step back and look at issues from multiple angles. These tend to have more a factual basis than breaking news articles, which are more reactionary in nature. Some examples of these are VOX, Refinery29 and Flare’s Explainer series.