The Nature of News

News is a collection of information and events, compiled and presented for consumption by an audience. The purpose of News is to inform and educate the audience. However, it is also known to entertain. This can be done through stories that have an element of humour, or through music and drama programs on radio, or through cartoons and crosswords in newspapers. News is usually based on actual occurrences but it can also include opinions and speculations.

The nature of News depends on the culture and traditions of a society. For example, a story that is considered significant in one country may not be considered important or interesting in another. Similarly, a story that is significant in the life of a person or family may not be considered important by the public at large. However, the underlying principles of News are similar worldwide.

A good news article begins with a snappy headline that concisely informs readers about the topic while seizing their attention. It then goes into a “nut graph,” a summary of key points that supports the lead statement. Next, the article elaborates on each point with additional facts and details. It is often helpful to use quotes from people who are involved in the news story to add credibility and intrigue.

Ultimately, what makes an event newsworthy is how the public perceives it. The news media’s job is to present the most important and interesting events to the public, and to filter out those that are unimportant or irrelevant. There are several models that have been proposed to explain how news is selected and what influences the content of a newspaper or news broadcast.

Magnitude is the first of these and involves a sense of scale – how big or small an event is, or how many people are involved in it. The implication is that the more dramatic or serious an event, the greater its news value.

It also involves an element of surprise, as a news story with an unexpected twist is likely to attract reader attention. Entertainment – stories concerning sex, showbusiness and human interest – also have a high news value. They often provide opportunities for humorous treatment or entertaining photographs and witty headlines.

People are interested in their food, and so stories about growing, harvesting and storing crops make news. They are also interested in the weather and climate, and so stories about extremes of temperature or rainfall are newsworthy. People are concerned about their health, and so stories involving disease or accidents are newsworthy. And they are concerned with money and economics, so stories about banks and companies are newsworthy. In addition, they are interested in religion and politics, so political scandals or celebrity gossip make the news. All of these elements are weighed up and evaluated by journalists in order to decide what is newsworthy and what is not. These judgments are not always correct, but they are based on the same criteria as everybody else.