News is the information and events that occur in society, presented to readers, listeners or viewers through newspapers, magazines, radio, television and internet. It is not the job of the media to entertain but to inform and educate audiences. News should be written briefly so that people will read it, clearly so they will understand it, picturesquely so they will appreciate it and above all, accurately so they will be guided by it.
News can come in a variety of forms but there are some general rules which apply to all. A story must be new, unusual, interesting and significant to be newsworthy. It must also be about people and affect them in some way. It must also be able to be reported quickly and easily.
In journalism school, they teach the “five W’s” of a news story – who, what, where, when and why. The most important information should be included in the first paragraph of the article and the other details added as the story progresses. This is known as the inverted pyramid and is an essential part of journalistic style.
While it is not the job of the journalist to express opinions in a news report, it is often helpful for them to provide some background information on the topic and give some indication of how they think the issue should be addressed. The ability to do this is enhanced by interviewing people involved and allowing them to speak for themselves.
It is important to check facts before publishing any news story, whether professionally or for a school project. If a piece of news is not true it can cause damage to the credibility of the writer and the media in general. Various websites exist to fact-check stories and to assist writers with researching their topics thoroughly.
A good concluding sentence should restate the leading statement (thesis) and point out any possible future developments relating to the topic of the news story. It is useful to read other news articles to see how they conclude and to watch news stations or shows to see how professional journalists wrap up their reports.
The classic definition of news is “dog bites man” but this can vary from one society to another. In some societies, dogs may even be eaten at feasts so it is not surprising that they should make the news if they are bitten.