What Is News?
News is anything that makes someone say “Gee Whiz!” It can be a crime, a newsworthy event or an entertainment story. It can be about a person in the public eye or it can be about an item of interest to people all over the world, such as a new product, the weather or a special event.
There are many ways that news can be presented, but there are some common characteristics of good news stories. Some of these are timeliness, drama, consequence, proximity and narrative.
Timeliness: The gatekeepers at commercial radio, television and print media have to decide which news items are important enough for the audience to know about, today. This can be tricky, because they also have to decide whether to include a story about a bank robbery from last week in today’s line-up.
Drama: A story that involves a dramatic situation is often a good news story, because it shows what can happen when people want something but don’t get it, or what can happen when things are difficult to achieve. For example, an Olympic athlete may win a medal even though the odds are against her.
Concession: The stories that make news can have a large effect on a whole community. The stock market can have a big impact on a town, and that can be a good news story. But there can be a lot of controversy about a story that is reported because it has a conflict of interest in it, such as a multinational corporation sponsoring a news organization.