What is News?
News is current information about events that happened recently, or about something that is happening now. This information can be delivered via a variety of media, including print, television, radio and the Internet. It is usually presented by trained journalists, but it can also be supplied by ordinary members of the public who write letters to newspapers and call in to news programs or radio stations to discuss stories they’ve seen or heard.
The most important characteristic of News is timeliness. News is about things that happen now or have just happened, not about something that happened 10 years ago (unless it’s an anniversary of a major event, such as the first man landing on the moon). Timeliness plays a big role in how gatekeepers decide what stories to cover and what order to present them in.
Each medium of News presents stories in a different way, and audiences get a slightly different persective on the world from what they hear or read in one medium compared to another. That’s why it’s a good idea to tune in to a few different news sources and see how they cover the same stories, and how they choose to present them.
A good rule of thumb for writing a news story is to put the most important information first, above the fold – the crease that runs across the top of a newspaper. Then, give additional facts to help readers understand the situation or event and, if you have an opinion, state it clearly.