What Is News?


News is information about events, discoveries or ideas. It can be current (breaking news) or historical, and it may be positive or negative. News often has a dramatic effect on people. News articles are usually written by journalists, although there is some evidence that even ordinary citizens are increasingly able to write their own news stories.

The best news stories start with a very strong leading statement that grabs readers’ attention. This is called a lede and it often begins with a dramatic anecdote or a surprising fact. It should also state the reason why the story is important – what the reader will gain from reading it. This leads into a more detailed summary of the news, called the nut graph. It answers the questions who, what, when, where and why, and often places the news in context by explaining how it fits into the bigger picture.

Crime: Everyone is interested in crime, particularly when it involves famous people or goes against society’s generally accepted norms. Coups, robberies and murders all make the news, but the most interesting stories are those involving corruption or unusual crimes such as forgery.

Money and politics: The decisions made by politicians and government officials affect everyone, so they’re newsworthy. So do economic changes, wage rises or unemployment. The same is true for money matters – fortunes made and lost, bank collapses, charity donations and compensation claims. People are also interested in how much money is being spent on a particular project, and they want to know why some projects are more successful than others.