A news story is information about current events. It may be conveyed in many ways, such as through word of mouth, writing on paper, pictures in books or newspapers, printed or posted letters and postcards, broadcasting on television or radio, or transmitted electronically. It is often accompanied by commentary or analysis. News can be entertaining as well as informative, although it must always be based on factual data.
What is considered to be newsworthy varies from society to society. It will be different in rich and poor countries, for example, and in urban and rural areas. It is also dependent on the level of interest in a subject, and whether it is regarded as important.
Basically, any event which is new or unusual is potentially newsworthy. This will be especially true if it has the potential to influence people’s lives in some way. This is why many people find sport newsworthy, as it has the direct impact on their daily lives. Other examples include terrorism, natural disasters, political unrest, accidents, discoveries or scientific breakthroughs.
The way in which a news story is chosen to be reported is down to the judgment of journalists. There are some theories as to how this is done, such as the Mirror Model which states that news should reflect reality. Other models include the Professional Model which argues that market research helps to determine what should be reported; and the Political Model which claims that news is about promoting certain viewpoints.
Once the decision has been made about which events to report, the next stage is selecting the facts which should be included in the article. A large number of factors are taken into account when making this choice, including whether the subject is important, whether it involves violence or scandal, whether it affects the common man in some way and whether it is local or regional. A further consideration is the amount of space available for the news, as well as the number of competing stories which have already been published.
A good news article should have a clear structure, starting with a leading statement which sums up the main point of the story. This will be followed by a series of paragraphs which provide more details about the topic, with information being arranged in order of importance. Finally, the last paragraph should contain a summary of the news which is followed by a conclusion which restates the lede statement and also mentions any possible future developments which might occur on the subject.
It is very important that all the information in a news story is clearly attributed to its source, either by using direct quotes or paraphrasing. This will help to prevent allegations of plagiarism and is an essential part of the journalist’s job description.
In addition to this, a news article should give readers enough background information so that they can form their own opinions on the subject. A balanced view of the subject should be presented which includes opinions from a wide range of sources.