What Is News?

News is anything which happens in a way that will interest the public. It should be reported quickly so that people can learn about it, clearly so they will understand it, picturesquely so they will appreciate it and, above all, accurately. It can be difficult to decide what is newsworthy, so journalists have rules which they follow.

One rule is that it must be unusual. If a man gets up, goes to breakfast and takes the bus to work, it is not news because it is not unusual. However, if he is 90 years old and still catching the bus every day, that is news because it is unusual.

The next thing that is important in news is that it will engage the audience. This can be done by writing the article clearly and attractively, for example in short sentences with good vocabulary. It should also be a balanced report, with both positive and negative aspects of the story. Finally, it is necessary to finish the article with a good headline. This may be a restatement of the leading statement (thesis) or it could be an announcement of potential future developments.

Once an article has been chosen it will be written on dummy pages and the chief editor will approve the content, language and style of the piece before it is published. In print it will be put above the fold and on the front page of the newspaper, or online it will appear before other stories on a website.

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