News is the information that keeps people informed about current events in their societies. It can be anything from political developments, riots or wars to the latest celebrity gossip or natural disasters. People have been transferring new information since ancient times through oral means such as storytelling and word of mouth, but the development of printing, radio and television has enabled news to be disseminated more quickly and widely.
The content of news is often determined by the intended audience and what they need or want to know. News stories should be factual but also interesting and accessible. The balance between the two is difficult to strike, and it is important for journalists to consider the implications of their choice of story when deciding how much detail to include.
Whether we work in the news business or simply consume it as readers, there are some basic characteristics that all journalists and news consumers understand about news. These include timeliness, drama, consequence, proximity and narrative.
Drama in news occurs when an event or situation has clearly identifiable good and bad characters or situations. For example, if someone robs a convenience store it will likely make the news because there are clear good and bad actors.
It is important to tune in to a variety of different news sources so that we get a full range of how a particular story is told across media. This will help us to develop a more open-minded perspective on the world around us.