News is information about current events and developments that occur in local communities, countries and internationally. The main functions of news are to inform the public and keep them updated on what is going on in their world. It can also serve as a watchdog, uncovering and reporting on abuses of power, corruption or wrongdoing by those in authority. News can also provide entertainment and leisure through features, lifestyle segments or cultural coverage.
Often, the news media will target a particular demographic when writing their articles and stories. This is based on the assumption that they will have some sort of connection or interest in the subject matter. For example, if a newspaper writes an article about zoning laws in a commercial area then their target audience might be business owners or realtors. This information is useful to the writer because it can help them write a more pertinent story for their audience.
One of the key elements of news is that it must be new. It is not enough for something to happen to be reported, it must be unusual, interesting or significant, and about people. An ordinary event like a man waking up, eating breakfast and catching the bus to work does not make the news, however, if the same man was murdered by the leader of a country then that could be considered big news.
It is also important that the news be presented clearly and accurately. It is not the job of the news to entertain, this is best left to other sources – music and drama on television, for example; or crosswords and other puzzles in newspapers.