What Is News?

News is the communication of current events, information and stories to the public through various media channels. It plays a vital role in informing the public of local, national and international issues that affect them.

The information that makes it into a newspaper, into the television news line-up or onto a news Internet site is the decision of people who work for that particular news organization. Depending upon the medium they may be called editors, news directors or even news managers. These are the people who sift through recommendations from reporters and assistant editors to decide what will make the news. They are also known as gatekeepers.

What constitutes news is a very personal choice that varies from person to person. However, most people would agree on certain characteristics that a news story should possess. These include timeliness, drama, consequence, proximity and narrative.

Timeliness: Events that have a high degree of timeliness make good news. This is because they are not things that happened 10 years ago or last year, but something that is happening right now and will likely impact us all in some way, either directly or indirectly.

Drama: A story becomes interesting if it has a clear definition of good and bad characters. For example, a robbery at a convenience store will often highlight the good guy (the person who was robbed) and the bad guys (the robbers).

Prominence: Stories about famous people tend to attract attention. This is because the public is interested in what happens to celebrities and public figures.