News is any information that helps people make informed decisions about their lives, communities, societies or governments. It includes reports on crime, finance, politics and culture.
A news story must be new and unusual, interesting, significant and about people. It must also be relevant to readers or listeners, or it cannot be news.
If an insect is found living on a plant that it had not previously lived on, this may be news to scientists, but will probably not be of interest to anyone else. A murder of a famous person, or a war breaking out in another country, would be much more newsworthy.
The value of news can be determined by the balance of six key elements, which are: Timeliness, Impact, Conflict, Familiarity, Proximity and Prominence. These values are used by journalists to select which stories to cover.
News stories that have a strong impact are easier to understand and have a high influence on people. Stories that involve violence or scandal are also a lot more interesting and are likely to be more popular with readers.
Stories that are familiar or local have a higher news value because they are more relatable. This means that a story about a girl going to university will be more interesting than a story about a boy who married a girl at the age of 55.
A good news article should have a lead that states the subject clearly and engages the reader. It should then be followed by a section that expands on the important details, answering any questions your reader might have about the topic as quickly as possible.