News is information about current events or the latest developments in a topic. It is typically reported by a journalist in the name of a publication and is often written in short, direct sentences. It is generally inappropriate for writers to insert their own opinions into a piece of News, but they should be careful not to misrepresent the facts.
News must be interesting to readers, listeners or viewers or it will not be read or listened to. Entertainment can come from other parts of a newspaper or radio and television schedule – music and drama on the radio, cartoons in magazines and crossword puzzles in newspapers. It is not the job of News to entertain, but it can be informative and even educational.
An important element of News is timeliness – it must be happening now or recently. It is not news if it happened 10 years ago, or last year, or even last week (unless it is an anniversary of something major).
A story must be unique to make the cut for News. It must be something that does not happen every day or that is unusual – the death of a mao tse-tung or the discovery of an ancient treasure are examples. It must also be significant – it should affect the lives of people in a particular way, or have an impact on the world.
Finally, it must be told well – if an event is not reported in a concise, clear and picturesque way, then it will not be read. Writers of News should try to eliminate jargon and abbreviations, especially in the title and lead paragraph. If a person’s first name or initials are used for the first time, they should be spelled out for clarity.