What Is News?


News is information about current events, developments and issues. It keeps people informed and up to date with what is happening in their local communities, countries and internationally. News also educates and informs, by explaining complex subjects such as politics, science, economics and culture in a simplified way that is easy to understand. It also acts as a watchdog, exposing wrongdoing and abuses of power.

Drama is often a key ingredient of news. We are all drawn to stories with a sense of urgency and importance, which is why many newspaper headlines promise ‘breaking news’ or have the word’shocking’ in them. This is because we want to be engaged and feel that what we are reading, watching or listening to is important, so that we care.

Timeliness is also a key characteristic of news. The news that makes it into a newspaper, onto the TV news line-up or posted on a news website is the result of decisions made by a group of people within a news organization. These people are often called editors, news directors or news managers. They sift through recommendations from reporters and other staff members to decide what will be published. They are also known as gatekeepers.

The main purpose of News is to inform and educate. However, it can also provide entertainment and leisure – for example by featuring music or dramatic performances on TV, or by providing crosswords or cartoons in newspapers. It can also be useful in helping us to make choices – for example by listing train timings, weather forecasts and other practical information.