What Is Newsworthy?

News is information about events in the world. It is usually reported in newspapers, radio or television. It can also be found on the Internet. News is important to people because it informs them about the world in which they live. It can influence people’s attitudes and opinions. News articles should not contain the author’s opinion but they should be factual and provide enough detail to allow readers to form their own views. The inverted pyramid format is an effective way of writing news articles because it gives the most important details in the first paragraph so that the reader will be drawn in to read more.

In the past, news was conveyed by word of mouth, but modern technology has made it easier to spread news around the globe and at a speed never before possible. Radio and television broadcasts can reach millions of people, while the Internet allows anyone with a computer and an internet connection to post and share information instantly. The spread of news is not necessarily controlled by government censorship, but can be affected by the availability and cost of technology such as satellite dishes, mobile phones and radio and television receivers.

The news is selected and published by professional journalists, who decide what is of interest to their audience. The journalist must judge how much importance a story has and how it fits into the existing news agenda. Factors which may make a story newsworthy include its impact, proximity and relevance, whether it involves elite countries or persons, how unusual and surprising the story is and whether it has an element of controversy.

A good journalist will try to select a range of stories which reflect the full diversity of human life and which show different aspects of society. These will include stories about war, politics, business, the economy, education, health and sports. They will also report weather and natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

There are also a variety of stories about entertainment, celebrity and sex. People are interested in famous people, the lifestyles they lead and their achievements. They are also interested in sex, even though this is an area which many societies do not discuss openly.

Other factors which may influence what is considered to be newsworthy are the level of public interest in a topic, and the extent to which it differs between societies. The scholarly explanations of news values put forward by Galtung and Ruge are useful for studying what is considered to be newsworthy. However, these are not easy to apply to a practical situation. In a newspaper office, for example, decisions must be made about which stories to publish in a particular week and how these are to be presented. These are often influenced by political and commercial pressures as well as by the perceived value of certain types of news. These factors will probably always influence what is actually published. However, it is possible to study how the selection and treatment of news is done and this can help us understand what makes an event a newsworthy one.