News is information about current events, obtained quickly and accurately, and conveyed to the public. News is reported in the form of stories in newspapers, magazines, television and radio. The primary goal of the news media is to inform the public about what is happening in their world, their country and their community. It is also the responsibility of news outlets to be objective in their reporting.
Generally, only those events that are unique and/or significant will make the news. The normal, everyday occurrences of life do not make the news; for example, a man wakes up, gets dressed and takes the bus to work. That does not make for interesting reading, unless the man is 90 years old and still catching the bus to work every day!
In order for a story to be considered newsworthy, it must affect a large number of people. Whether the event or issue has political, economic or social implications, it must be something that most people will care about. This is why international events, disasters and crimes often make the news.
The most important part of a news story is the lead, or headline. A good headline is short and to the point, and contains all the main points of the article. In journalism school, they call this the “inverted pyramid” – the most important facts are presented first, with subsequent paragraphs adding more detail. It is a rule that the news media follow, and one that helps keep the reader interested until they reach the end of the article.
News articles are written in a formal style, and they should be factual rather than opinion-based. However, this does not mean that the news media is not allowed to have their own opinions. In fact, most readers expect their news outlets to have opinions. The news media must balance the information they report with their own opinions, and the result is that some of the news is biased.
There are many ways that news can be biased, and it is important for the reader to be aware of these biases in order to evaluate the credibility of the information they are being given. A useful tool for this is AllSides, which is a website that allows users to rate news stories and determine their level of bias. For example, a high level of bias for a news story would be if it was overwhelmingly pro-government. In this case, the bias is clear and easy to identify. The same can be done for other types of biases, such as those involving race or ethnicity, religion or politics, gender and sexual orientation. In addition, it is important for the reader to be able to distinguish between news and opinion. The latter is often found in the form of editorials and commentaries. While some of this opinion may be accurate, the reader should always consider where the author is coming from, and what their agenda might be.