What Makes News?

News is information about current events, or about past events that have been reported. People have always sought out ways to communicate new information, but modern developments have increased the speed at which news can spread, and influenced the nature of the news itself.

What makes news depends on the culture of the society, but some of the criteria are the same in all societies:

Human interest: Whether it is a murder, break and enter, forgery, scandal or a famous person’s fall from grace, these things interest people and make them want to read about them.

The magnitude of an event: An earthquake, flood, cyclone, bush fire, drought, volcanic eruption or other natural disaster is newsworthy if it has an impact on large numbers of people.

Money: Fortunes made and lost, tax rises, school fees, food prices, the Budget, compensation claims – these all make news. The more money involved, the more interest is generated, but even a small amount of money can generate an article, for example when a child gives ten cents to a charity fund-raiser.

Entertainment: Stories about music, dance, theatre and cinema keep people informed of who is doing what and where, and also help them to relax. Sex: Although sex is not talked about openly in many societies, sex-related news articles are of interest.

Creating news requires careful thought and preparation. A piece of news must be interesting enough to entice the audience to read it, but it should also be accurate and free from bias.

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