News is current information about events obtained at any time and at every place and transmitted quickly to the public. It includes a wide variety of material, from political and social events to weather forecasts.
The news media – newspapers, magazines, radio and television – play an important role in the public’s lives by providing them with information, entertainment and education. It’s an instrument that can teach and illuminate, but only if it’s used properly and honestly. It’s important to remember that people don’t watch or read the news for entertainment, they do so because they want to be informed and educated.
In the simplest terms, news is what is new, unusual, interesting or significant. It can be about people, places or things and it must be able to affect the audience in some way. If a story is not newsworthy it is not going to be reported. An assassination, for example, is always going to be newsworthy – but the same assassination taking place in two different countries may have very different news values.
The most exciting, interesting and significant events are those that impact the world around us – war, natural disasters and accidents. People are also interested in news about famous and influential people, their lifestyles and appearance, and their achievements. Sex is another subject of interest in most societies, especially when it’steps outside the lines’. Stories about food and drink, health and fitness, traditional remedies, hospitals and clinics are also of interest.