News is information about events that have happened recently and are of interest to a wide audience. It can be printed in a newspaper, broadcast over television or radio or posted on the internet. The purpose of News is to inform, educate and entertain. It is usually reported by journalists who gather and write the facts about events rather than expressing their own opinions.
When writing a news article, you need to begin with the most important information, often referred to as the lede. The lead must be able to capture the attention of readers quickly and keep them reading. It should contain a dramatic anecdote, a surprising fact or a piece of breaking news. A good lead will also be able to answer the five Ws: who, what, when, where and why.
Once you have a lede, you need to continue your story in chronological order and include all of the relevant details of the event. If possible, cite your sources as you write. This will help your readers to understand where you got your information and will ensure that your article is accurate.
If you are writing a news article for a newspaper, the most important information should appear above the fold, which is the top part of the page that can be seen without unfolding it. This is because most people read only the top stories, so you need to grab their attention early. You should place the best information at the beginning of the story and then develop it in a nut graph, which is a short paragraph that answers who, what, when, where and why. This will put the new developments into context and explain why they are important to your readers.
Most news stories are about people because they affect people’s daily lives. This includes crime, accidents and disasters, but also includes the weather, food shortages or surpluses, wars, politics and economic problems. The same event can have different news value in different societies, for example a flood in one country will not be a big deal but a coup d’état in the neighbouring country could cause serious trouble.
Stories about famous people are of interest to many readers. They want to know what the rich and famous are doing and what their social status is. This is particularly true when they are involved in scandals or fall from grace.
People are also interested in their health, which is why stories about traditional remedies, medical research, hospitals and clinics and disease make the news. Likewise, most societies are interested in sex and stories about the latest contraception or erectile dysfunction medicine are likely to make the headlines. Finally, money stories – where fortunes are made or lost, income taxes, the Budget, food prices, wage rises and compensation claims – are of great interest to a lot of people. The content of these stories will vary in different societies, but the way they are identified will be the same.