News is information about a recent event. People often get their news from newspapers, but it can also be found on television and radio. The purpose of the news is to inform, educate and entertain its audience. The entertainment element can come from other areas – music and drama on the radio or cartoons and crosswords in a newspaper. The important thing is that it should be factual and honest and not influenced by commercial interests.
Events that are new, unusual, interesting or significant can make good news. They may be of interest to a particular group – for example, to scientists studying an insect that has been living on a plant which it did not previously inhabit. Or they might be of interest to the public in general – for example, a coup d’etat in another country.
The most important factor in deciding whether something is newsworthy is its impact on the audience. A story about an ordinary and everyday event that happens to all or most of the population is unlikely to be newsworthy – it is not likely to affect people’s lives, or to cause them any emotion. It may, however, be of concern to a small group – for example, to family and friends of people living with the disease Covid-19. Other factors which influence newsworthiness include the prominence of the person concerned, controversy or conflict and proximity. Using an impartial source of news, such as the BBC, is helpful in ensuring that you have a balanced view of current events.