What Makes News?


News is information about current events that catches the attention of people. This can be delivered through the media (newspapers, magazines and TV), radio, the Internet or word of mouth. News stories usually include a description of an event and its background, as well as opinions about it.

The way a story is written makes a difference to whether it becomes news. The inverted pyramid format, with key points at the top and supporting facts below, is a good structure to use. It means that readers who only read the headline and possibly a few paragraphs of the article will still get a lot of information.

What makes a story interesting or significant? People are interested in things that affect them, especially in their daily lives. For example, if an insect is damaging crops it may become news, especially if the impact of this damage will be felt locally. Similarly, people are interested in the opinions of leaders on issues that affect them. If a bishop or archbishop says something that influences policy in the Church, for example, this could be newsworthy.

Stories involving celebrities, entertainment and human interest are also a regular feature of news. These may involve sex, show business, an unfolding drama or offer opportunities for humorous treatment and entertaining photographs. They are often reported in the first person, although some writers prefer to avoid this and use the third person instead. When it is necessary to refer to a person by name in an article, it is good practice to always use their full name or initials, rather than just their first.