What Is News?

News is information about important events that affect people’s lives. It can be about politics, crime, war, natural disasters or human interest stories. The news is usually reported in newspapers, magazines and on television. It can also be found on the Internet and in other types of media. A free press is considered essential to any democracy, and a major function of the news media is to provide citizens with unbiased information.

There are many different models of what constitutes a news story, although most share the idea that something must be new, have impact, involve violence and scandal, and be locally relevant. One of the most influential is the Mirror Model, which argues that news should reflect what is going on in reality. This model is particularly influential in societies with a strong emphasis on individualism and self-reflection.

Another model is the Political Model, which argues that the content of news reflects the ideological biases and pressures on a society’s politicians. This model is particularly influential in societies with strong political parties and democratic elections.

A third model is the Economic Model, which argues that news should contain economic information. This model is particularly influential in societies with highly developed industrial economies.

Regardless of the model used, most news stories are geared toward a specific demographic. This is especially true for local and regional news. A newspaper in Kansas City will probably cover a wide range of topics, but will focus most of its attention on the people living and working there.

In some cases, this demographic is easy to identify. For example, a story about a football game will likely include quotes from the coach, the quarterback, the receivers and some fans in the stands. Occasionally, this is not the case and a journalist may need to do some research to find out what type of information will be of most interest to the readers.

If a news item is to be published, it must be well written. It is essential that it be accurate, but it is also necessary to write it in such a way that it will attract and keep reader’s attention. This is accomplished through using interesting and controversial ideas, and through the use of dramatic or emotionally powerful language. It is also a good idea to use facts and statistics whenever possible.

There are also some factors which determine whether or not an event will be deemed to be newsworthy. These include whether the event is new and unusual, whether it involves a lot of people or has a significant impact, whether it is close to home, and whether it is controversial. Future research might usefully explore how these factors play out across a variety of different media platforms, and in societies with differing political-economic conditions. This could help to refine and test scholarly explanations such as those put forward by Harcup and O’Neill and Galtung and Ruge. It might also lead to more empirical studies of what does and does not get into the news.