What is News?


News is what you see, hear, read, or otherwise come across that informs you of events going on in the world. This could be about a major disaster or event, political upheaval, war or peace talks, economic development or even someone’s death or birth.

People are interested in the world around them and the things that affect their daily lives. Weather, whether it is too hot or too cold, drought or floods, shortage of food, or the price of goods on the markets are things which make for good news stories. Stories about entertainment such as music, theatre, cinema and carving also pique people’s interest.

An important aspect of a news story is timeliness. The information which makes it into a newspaper, onto the TV news line-up or on a news Internet site must be something that is happening now or has just happened. This is one of the criteria that gatekeepers use to decide what is newsworthy. An event which has already happened, however, cannot be news unless some new information becomes available about it.

Another criterion that gatekeepers look at when deciding on the strength of a news item is its relevance to society. This might seem obvious, but it is a vital part of what makes a story interesting. A story which is not relevant to society will have no impact on the reader and will thus have little news value. This is why a lot of news items are focused on human interest and about people who have done things or achieved something remarkable.