The Importance of News

News is a piece of information about people, places, things and events in the world that is gathered, written and published and circulated to an audience by newspapers, radio, television and the internet. It informs, educates and entertains. It can also cause emotional, political and social change. It is an important part of our culture, shaping and influencing the way we live.

News can be positive or negative, serious or funny and uplifting or downright embarrassing. But it is all about telling stories that make a difference to the lives of the audience who read, listen and watch it.

The aim of news is to present the facts, quickly and clearly. It enables citizens to make informed decisions about their own lives and the world around them. This is the bedrock of democracy. Without it, there can be no free society. But a free press can only do its job if it is fair and accurate. It should be independent from government and corporate influence.

It is the job of the news media to put its stories before their audiences “briefly so they will read them, clearly so they will understand them, picturesquely so they will remember them and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by them”.

What makes a story interesting? There are many factors that contribute to its interest such as: impact, proximity, controversy, prominence and currency. An event is significant if it affects many people or if it has caused an emotional response in them. Proximity is relevant if the event happens close to home or involves local people. Controversy is an important factor in that it generates tension and public debate. Prominence is relevant if it is about well-known people. Currency is relevant if the event has happened recently and is current.

In many societies, the biggest news stories are those involving people, but they can also be about the weather, food and drink, agriculture, transport, entertainment, art, science and technology. Usually, it is about the big changes that people are implementing in the world or the big things that are happening to them.

Other times, the news is about the little things – an insect invading a farmer’s fields, the price of corn or the size of a snowstorm. It is these things that are the most important to people because they impact their daily lives. Similarly, they are interested in news about themselves, their families and the people they know.

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