News is a description of events which are important, interesting or unusual. It is an essential part of a democracy, because it allows people to be informed about what is going on in their country and in the world. This helps them to decide what they want to do or to support. It also helps them to understand what the problems are and why they happen.
Some examples of News are:
Crime: Whether it is road traffic offences, housebreakings, forgery or murder, any criminal act is newsworthy if it affects a large number of people or is particularly serious or unusual. Crimes which occur in high profile places or which have a major impact on the public make more headlines than crimes which do not.
Prominent people: What famous people do, what they think and what they look like are of interest to many readers. It is especially newsworthy when these people fall from grace or are involved in scandal.
Weather: Changes in the weather, both good and bad, are often newsworthy. They can have a significant effect on people’s lives, for example by flooding homes or cutting off power supplies. It is also interesting to learn about extreme weather conditions and how they happened.
Money: The amount of money someone has, how it is made and what it is spent on are all of interest to readers. Stories about fortunes being made and lost, tax rates, Budget decisions, wage rises or claims for compensation are of particular interest. Even small sums of money are interesting, such as a girl who gives her only ten cents to a fund-raising event.
Health: People are interested in what is happening to their bodies, and so are health professionals. The discovery of a new disease, the latest medical treatment or a health warning are all important news items.
A wide variety of other events can be considered News, including:
Education: A child moving up a school, going to university or getting a job are all newsworthy stories. Equally so is the closure of a school, a change in an examination system or a drop in school results.
The type of information which is considered News changes over time as society, technology and culture change. In modern times, it is the rapid spread of information through communication technology which has changed the nature of News. Events which used to take hours or days to reach a town or nation now appear instantly on television, radio and the internet. This is why it is possible to call something news today that would not have been called news at all in previous times. However, it is essential that writers of News keep in mind the needs and interests of their audience. If they are writing for a local newspaper, they should focus on local events and only cover worldwide news if it has some relevance to them. This helps them to avoid sensationalism and to provide their readers with accurate, fair and objective information.