News is the information we receive about what has happened, or what might happen. It may be about politics, war, crime, business, natural disasters or anything else that affects the lives of people. People want to know what is happening in the world and in their own communities, and to make informed choices about how they live their lives.
To do this they need to have access to a wide range of information, including newspapers and the internet. They will be interested in different types of stories for different reasons. Some will be concerned about the welfare of family members, others about work or money and still others about politics or sport. The media are called the ‘oxygen of democracy’ because democracies need a free press to inform the public and keep them aware of what is going on in their country.
A story is news when it has the following qualities:
Impact – how many people will be affected?
Proximity – is the story local or does it involve people from the area?
Controversy – does the story have a high level of tension or public debate?
Magnitude – is the story significant, either in terms of numbers or potential impact?
Often the people who write news stories will have a particular interest or passion which they think should be reported. However, it is important for them not to inject their own personal opinion into the news report. This could be seen as bias and can turn readers off the news. A good way to ensure that a story is fair and impartial is to interview the people involved and use their quotes in the news article.