News is information about events that affect the lives of people. It has been reported since ancient times by town criers who shouted messages from street corners, by written publications such as newspapers and books, by broadcasting technologies including radio and television, and more recently by the Internet and other digital media channels.
The content of news is influenced by the values and priorities of different societies, but some elements are universal. For example, all societies are interested in stories about famous people – their lives, activities and looks. They also like to know about their health – stories about traditional medicines, medical research, diseases, hospitals and clinics, diet and exercise. People are also interested in their environment – stories about the weather, nature and animals. And all societies are concerned about sex, even though they may not talk about it openly.
People need to have a good understanding of how news is generated and disseminated before they can judge its quality. This LAMPLit introduces students to the process of news creation, providing them with a framework for thinking about the kinds of questions that journalists ask and how those questions might influence the answers they receive. This knowledge is a key part of being media literate and helps students to make better choices about what and how they consume news.
What makes a story newsworthy?
News is about things that happen now or just happened. It is not about things that happened a long time ago, or even last week (unless it’s an anniversary of something big and worth celebrating). The earliest news reports were printed in newspapers and are still one of the main sources of news today. Broadcast news – TV and radio – has the advantage of getting news out to people much more quickly than a newspaper can, and sometimes as soon as it happens.
It is important for journalists to be able to tell the difference between news and opinion. They also need to understand how to find and read sources that are reliable. This involves evaluating the credibility of different types of media, and recognizing when the source is biased or trying to manipulate the reader. It is also important for journalists to have a clear idea of how the news they produce can be used in their work.
News is an important part of the fabric of society, connecting us with what’s going on around us. It can be informative, entertaining and persuasive. It can make people angry or enlightened, but most of all it can be inspiring. The ability to identify and interpret the information conveyed in the news is a valuable skill that will serve students well throughout their lives. This lesson can be incorporated into the study of a wide range of topics including government, politics and culture. It can be combined with lessons on media literacy, historical perspectives and civic engagement. The information in this lesson can be used by teachers and students of all ages.