News is information about current events, gathered from a variety of sources. It may be presented in newspapers, magazines, television, radio or on the Internet. Its purpose is to inform and educate its audience. It can also entertain, although this is usually done through other forms of media – music and drama on TV; cartoons and crosswords in newspapers and magazines.
News articles are typically dramatic, with clear good and bad characters and situations. They are often also interesting, and appeal to emotion in order to engage readers or listeners. News is most effective when it evokes a sense of urgency, making people want to know more.
Most people agree that certain events make the news:
Events in the news are those that happen recently, or which are happening now. They are not things that happened 10 years ago (unless they are about significant dates such as the anniversary of something major).
People like to read and watch stories about conflict, controversy and tension. They especially love stories with an element of surprise and the unexpected.
News should have a direct impact on the lives of its audience members. Ideally, it should cause them to change their behaviour or attitudes in some way.
People are interested in news that relates to their immediate environment, such as weather forecasts or train timings. They also like to hear about local people and activities – for example, a girl going to university or a man marrying a young woman.