News is anything that makes us say, “Gee Whiz!”
Generally speaking, there are five criteria by which a story is considered news. These are:
Newness: A new event is news if it is unusual, which makes it different from other things we know about. A man waking up, eating breakfast and going to work on the bus is not unusual, but a peasant farmer threatening the crops with a parasitic insect is.
Unusualness: The more unusual the event, the greater its value as a news story. A story of a dog biting a man is less newsworthy than a story of a fire which killed 100 people.
Interest: Stories of crime, fortunes made and lost, the Budget, school fees, taxation, food prices, wage rises and compensation claims are all likely to be interesting for readers. Weather, animal welfare, crop diseases and harvest sizes are also often of interest to readers.
Magnitude: A big event is more newsworthy than a small one, and is more important to its audience. A coup d’etat in the country next door is a much bigger story than the death of a man who has just been in prison for 10 years.
Surprise: A witty or entertaining headline, an opportunity for photographs or other artistic features can also make a story more interesting.
Lastly, it’s essential to let someone else read your article before you submit it for publication. Even if you’ve gone over it several times, an extra pair of eyes can catch any mistakes that may have sneaked in.