News is information about current events that has significance or interest to an audience. News events can be about people, places or things and may have political or social implications. The content of news may vary across different societies.
It is usually considered that the purpose of news media, such as television, radio and newspaper, is to inform and educate audience members. However, the media can also entertain – with music and drama programs on radio and crosswords or cartoons in newspapers. In addition to educating and entertaining, it is the responsibility of news media to keep audience members informed about important events in their community, country or world.
People are the main suppliers of news stories. Individuals may be the direct participants in a news event, such as a road traffic accident or a murder, or they may have an indirect involvement, such as as the victim of a political coup d’état that happened in another country.
News events are often about things that happen rarely or have a wide impact. A cyclone, bush fire, flood or earthquake are examples of natural disasters that make news. Crime, whether it is a burglary or a murder, may be newsworthy as well. So too can an unusual event, such as the rescue of baby tigers.
A good news story meets certain criteria, such as timeliness, drama and consequence, proximity and a narrative. It is also helpful for a journalist to know their audience and understand the importance of sourcing facts. It is also useful to listen to and read a variety of news sources, including print and broadcast media, so that you get a broad view of how the news is presented.