News is a medium of communicating events and information about the world to a wide audience. It can have a powerful impact on people and their behaviours. News can influence public opinion, inform the masses and educate them on different topics such as politics, history, science, business, culture, religion etc.
In the past, news was transported orally and written down on pieces of paper and later transmitted through newspapers, radio and television. However, with advances in technology it is now possible to transmit news globally instantly and via the Internet. This has led to many changes in the way we receive and perceive news.
Identifying what is newsworthy can be difficult. Generally speaking, a piece of news is considered important enough to be reported if it has the following elements:
The importance of an event is often measured on how much it affects the general public. For example, an insect which has been found living on a plant it did not previously inhabit may be interesting to scientists but it would not make the front page of a newspaper because it is not very important.
Stories with strong impact are more likely to be covered by the media. This is because they tend to entertain or enthral the reader and also can influence their thoughts and actions. Violence and scandal are good examples of this. Familiarity and proximity also adds to the effect of a story.
When writing a news article always start with the most important facts. This is known as “putting the news above the fold”. In journalism jargon this means putting the most compelling information at the top of the piece.