News presents current and interesting events, obtained from every moment and everywhere, to the public in a timely manner.
Most people agree that one of the important jobs of news is to inform its readers, listeners or viewers. But it also has a job to entertain them – through music and drama on radio, through cartoons in newspapers or crossword puzzles in magazines, for example. The entertainment part of news is separate from its role of informing – it should not confuse the two.
Dramatic news stories – those that make us jump or gasp – are a common feature of most news programs, whether they are on TV or in print. Stories that are uplifting or inspirational often appear in the news too. They may be stories about sports achievements – especially those that involve extreme effort or great personal sacrifice or stories about the successes of war veterans or of prisoners of war or the achievements of children and young people in a variety of areas.
It is the job of a reporter to choose which stories to write about. This is usually a matter of asking the “5 W’s” – who, what, where, when and why. The most important and urgent news is usually placed ‘above the fold” of newspapers (the crease that forms when they are folded) or at the top of an online story, so that it is read first. Knowing your audience is also important, and should help dictate the tone and voice of your article as well as the information that you include.