News is the current information about the world, events, people and things, obtained in every moment everywhere. It is conveyed through the media, namely newspapers, magazines, radio and television, and the Internet. News may also refer to the collection and presentation of this information in a way which is interesting, significant and important to the reader, listener or viewer. News reports must be truthful, impartial and accurate, and should avoid any distortion of facts and opinions.
Generally, news is about human activities, but non-human activities may also be the subject of news stories. The most common topics of news are war, politics, government, education, health, the environment and business. In ancient times, news was transmitted orally and through written documents. The development of paper and the printing press, from China to Europe, allowed news to be spread at a much faster pace. The invention of television and the Internet further enhanced the dissemination of news.
While news is often associated with a negative, or dark side of the world, it can also be positive. Some examples of positive news include scientific discoveries, humanitarian efforts and charitable donations. News can be entertaining as well – music and drama programs on the radio, crossword puzzles in newspapers, etc.
The nature of what is considered to be news will vary from society to society, but the general definition of news remains the same. The most important factor in determining what is considered to be newsworthy is its impact on the life of people. For example, an insect destroying crops could be considered to be newsworthy in one society, but not in another.
To write a successful news story, the writer must first decide which angle to take on the subject matter. This will usually be based on the target audience and demographic of the newspaper or magazine in question. It will also be determined by the type of information that is most likely to interest and shock the readership.
Once the angle has been decided, it is then necessary to determine which facts are most relevant and what order to present them in. The most important information should be placed at the top of the story, with the least important at the bottom. This will help readers to focus on the most important points and gain a better understanding of the subject matter.
Finally, the writer must be aware of their own biases and prejudices. Even if the writer believes they are being objective, it is impossible to completely remove bias from any source. However, a journalist who clearly marks opinion columns as such, uses dozens of fact-checkers, hires professional reporters and is transparent about their sources and methods is less likely to be biased than one who is not.