The Importance of News


News is the information that is conveyed through the media – newspapers, magazines, radio and television. The purpose of news is to inform and educate. It can also provide entertainment. However, the entertainment should come from other areas – music and drama on the radio, cartoons and crossword puzzles in newspapers. The purpose of the news should be to inform and educate and not entertain.

A news article is about an event or topic that is currently happening. The information is gathered by journalists and presented in an interesting way. The journalist uses a variety of techniques to report on the news including interviewing sources, researching old articles, looking through government documents and observing events first hand. Journalists are expected to have a high standard of honesty and integrity. They are expected to present all sides of an issue without bias. They are often referred to as ‘honest journalists’.

Most people agree that good journalism is important to a society. Some people believe that there is a need for the state to regulate the press to control its content and protect freedom of speech. Others disagree with this view and argue that the press should be self-regulating and free to report on whatever they see fit.

News is usually centred on people, because it is people who affect change in the world. However, non-human events can also make news – storms, floods, bush fires, droughts and volcanoes. Generally speaking, news stories are more likely to make the headlines if they are unusual or spectacular.

Crime: Any kind of crime can make the news, but muggings, road traffic offences, bank robberies and murder tend to get more attention than burglaries or rape. It is not necessarily large sums of money which make the news either; the story about the little girl who gives her only ten cents to a fund-raising event is more interesting than the businessman who gives $100.

Money: Fortunes made and lost, school fees, taxes, the Budget, food prices and wage rises all have the potential to be newsworthy. So do economic crises and compensation claims. The news also tends to be interested in the achievements of famous people.

A good news article is clearly written and easy to understand. It begins with an interesting opening paragraph, known as the lede or lead, which catches the reader’s attention. The article then provides the ‘nut graph’ – the key elements of the story: what happened, when, who and where. The article may then follow the sequence of events in chronological order or place the developments in context by explaining why they are important. The writer should avoid giving his or her opinion and use third person pronouns (‘he’,’she’, ‘it’) rather than using first person pronouns (‘I’). This is to keep the article as clear as possible for readers. The writer should also ensure that names are spelt correctly and full details of people involved are given, particularly their age and occupation.