What Is News?

News is information about events that affect people’s lives, either directly or indirectly. It can be political, social, economic or environmental in nature. News is often written for a specific audience, such as a local community newspaper or a business website. It may also be aimed at a particular demographic, such as parents with young children or commercial real estate brokers. News articles can be controversial or informative, but they are generally brief and to the point.

When something is considered newsworthy depends on how it meets a number of criteria. It must be new, unusual, interesting or significant. The more of these criteria a story meets, the more important it is. For example, a story about a terrorist attack is likely to be very significant but may not be as new as a story about a major earthquake.

It’s essential to consider the audience when writing a news article. Who do you think the reader will be, and what are their interests? This will help determine the subject matter and tone of the article. It can be helpful to break down the target demographic further if possible, such as by location or industry. For example, a story about zoning laws in Kansas City would be most relevant to the residents of that area.

In addition to knowing the audience, it’s important to know how news is presented and formatted. For instance, it is typical for a headline to include the main point of the article. The body of the article should then follow, with any supporting information included in footnotes or at the bottom of the page. If a person’s name is mentioned, their full first and last names should be used on the first mention. This avoids jarring readers with an abrupt change in person. Similarly, first initials should be used in place of full names on subsequent references.

If a person is quoted in a news article, their initials should be used. This avoids confusion between similar names, such as J. Smith and J. Jones. It’s usually also best to write in the third person, unless there is a compelling reason to use the first or second person.

There are a number of different theories about what constitutes news, but most of them revolve around how an event or story is presented to the audience. For example, the professional model focuses on how skilled peoples put certain events together for a particular audience. The mirror model, on the other hand, reflects reality, and the societal model considers how a group of people react to news. There are also scholarly explanations of what makes newsworthy, such as Galtung and Ruge’s News Value Theory. The societal theory is based on research into the way that societies make decisions about what is newsworthy. For example, the fact that an event is newsworthy can be influenced by the extent to which it goes against a cultural norm or traditional morality.