News is information about a significant event, or a change in a situation that is reported in print or broadcast. Common topics for News include war, government, politics, education, business, and health. A large amount of news is delivered by television, radio, and the Internet, with each providing its own unique delivery method and format.
News must be reported fairly, accurately and without bias. It should be based on verifiable sources such as interviews, court records, the Census, and scientific research. It should also be unbiased with regard to politics, religion, and race. News should be presented in a clear and concise manner, with important details at the beginning of the story and less important details at the end. It is often written in the third person, although first and second person can be used to provide an emotional connection with readers or to add a sense of drama to the article. It is also generally written in short paragraphs, to keep it punchy and engaging for the reader.
In order to be considered news, an event must be new and unusual. However, even events which are new and unusual may not always be newsworthy. For example, if scientists report that an insect has been found living on a plant it did not previously inhabit, this is newsworthy for a specialist publication but is unlikely to interest the general public in a newspaper or broadcast.
It is the job of the journalist to decide what is newsworthy and which facts should be emphasized. This process has been referred to as the “Judgment of Newsworthiness” (Westerhahl and Johansson 1994). In some cases, market research is consulted to determine what should be considered newsworthy; however, it is generally accepted that this approach does not result in completely unbiased news reporting.
The main aim of news is to inform and educate. Occasionally it can entertain as well, but this is more the role of other forms of media such as music and drama on radio, or cartoons and crosswords in newspapers.
Many people read multiple sources of News in order to get an objective picture of the world around them. Some experts suggest that this is the best way to avoid being influenced by confirmation bias. It is recommended to read blogs, opinion sections of magazines and newspapers in order to develop a balanced view on a topic. In addition, setting up Google Alerts for topics of interest can help to monitor a wide range of viewpoints. Finally, it is also important to remember that some events that appear in the news do not actually take place – for example, fake news stories. These should be viewed with suspicion. There are a number of websites that offer advice on how to spot unreliable information and avoid being fooled by false or misleading claims. A good starting point is Wikipedia’s page on False Information. It also lists a number of sites that verify and fact-check current news stories.