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What Is News?

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News is a piece of information about something that has happened or is happening. People usually consume it through the media such as television, radio and newspapers but now more than ever with the introduction of the internet and social media sites, people can get their news from a much wider variety of sources. News can cover anything from politics, business, science and even celebrity gossip. It can be hard to find the balance between being interesting and accurate in a news article, but it is important that a story is factual and up to date as people want to know what is going on around them.

The content of a news story depends on the medium it is being published in, for example local papers tend to focus more on events that affect the area they serve whilst national papers will take a much bigger picture view and look at world events. The internet has also enabled many different types of news to be distributed and it is now commonplace for citizens to act as journalists reporting on local and international events via their mobile phones.

A story is considered to be newsworthy if it has some sort of impact on society or the environment. This could be a disaster such as a flood or fire, it can also be an event such as a royal wedding or a sporting triumph. The content of a news story can also be influenced by government communication and espionage networks which may try to control the flow of information or prevent certain types of stories being reported.

It is a journalist’s job to decide what is worthy of being written about and what is not. In order to be deemed as newsworthy, a story must meet a certain criteria such as being new, unusual, interesting and significant. Galtung and Ruge have developed a matrix to help reporters assess newsworthiness and this is still used today despite changes in the times and media of modern day journalism.

In addition to deciding what is newsworthy, it is also important for a journalist to understand their audience. This can be done by researching what types of news their readers want to read. This is often done through market research, but it is also possible for a journalist to have an instinctive feel for what their readers will be interested in reading about.

A writer of a news article must keep the reader in mind at all times and write in a way that is easy to follow. They must also consider the tone and style of their writing as well as the level of detail required. Using too many technical terms can put off readers and make them feel like they are being lectured to. It is also important for a journalist to use a range of sources and avoid overstating a point. If they cannot prove an assertion they should be honest and admit that they are unsure of the facts.

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