News is a report on current events that affect or involve the wider community. This includes government decisions and activities, sports, weather and entertainment news. News is usually a mixture of fact and opinion. It may be entertaining, but the main function of News is to educate and inform its audience.
What makes something newsworthy depends on the individual’s needs and values, as well as the culture of a society. Generally, however, stories have high news value if they are unexpected or surprising, or if they impact the daily lives of many people. Other criteria include proximity, controversy or currency. People are interested in what celebrities do, their lifestyles and personal scandals. They also are interested in health news – traditional remedies, medical research and disease. Sex is an area of interest in most societies, especially when it involves behaviour that goes against social norms.
While the news may be a vehicle for advertising, it must be presented fairly and without bias. The free press is called the oxygen of democracy, and it is necessary for a functioning, open society. News is often seen as a weapon in the battle for civil liberties, such as freedom of speech, the right to protest and freedom from discrimination.
A good news writer understands his or her audience and knows the story to be told. In an ideal world, a journalist would interview all of the parties involved in the story to get their perspectives, but in practice this is not always possible or practical. In these cases, it is often better to let the subject of the article speak for themselves by using quotes.