News is information that is currently happening, that has just happened or that is the latest on something that has been going on. It’s what you see on your TV, read on the newspaper, hear on the radio or on the internet.
The decisions to put certain things on the front page, in the headlines or in the online news section of a newspaper, TV channel or news website are made by editors and other news staff. They are called gatekeepers.
They look for things that are new, unusual, interesting, significant and about people. They decide whether or not something will be considered a hard news story, soft news story, newsmaker, or just a regular report.
What they choose to make news is influenced by their local and national interests, the current political situation, their personal preferences, and their experience with the particular news media. For example, print sources tend to appeal to logic and reason, while broadcast and cable television and radio often have a stronger emotional appeal.
To learn more about what makes news, it is best to read and listen to a variety of different media forms and messages. This is especially important for beginning and intermediate students, who may already get most of their news from a particular medium.