News is information about current events that affect people or impact society in some way. It is often reported by journalists, and can be distributed through a variety of media channels including print, television, radio, and the Internet. News is primarily objective and factual, with the exception of some types of editorial content such as commentary or opinion pieces. Journalists adhere to a set of ethical guidelines when writing news articles that ensure the credibility of their work.
The main function of news is to inform, but it can also entertain, stimulate curiosity, and arouse empathy or anger. In this sense it is a record of the human condition, and therefore has an important role to play in shaping public opinion. It is a major source of information for politicians and policymakers, who make decisions based on its contents. It is a vital tool in education, providing a wide range of facts and opinions on which to base decisions.
There are many things that can be newsworthy, but they must be new or unusual to attract readers. Events such as a burglary, murder or car accident are usually front page news. However, an everyday activity can still be newsworthy if it is carried out in an unusual manner. For example, a man walking to work or taking the bus does not normally make news, but if he is 90 years old and still doing these activities it could be interesting.
A story must be written so that it can be understood in a short space of time, so that the most important facts are presented first. This is called the “inverted pyramid” format, and is a requirement of all good journalism. In addition to this, a journalist must provide as much detail as possible without boring the reader.
In the modern world, a number of international organizations gather and disseminate news. They include government-owned broadcasters such as the BBC, China Central Television, Iran’s Press TV and Russia Today, and commercial television networks such as CNN and ABC. In addition, there are numerous websites which offer breaking news and feature stories.
The type of information that constitutes news varies widely from one culture to the next. For instance, what is important in a country where there are few religious freedoms may not be considered newsworthy in other countries where religious freedoms are well established. The definition of news can also vary depending on the level of interest in a particular subject. For example, an insect living on a plant which it did not previously inhabit might be of great interest to scientists but would only be of minor interest to general news broadcasters and papers.
While some people believe that the news is driven by marketing research, this is not entirely true. Some of this research is used to guide journalists and editors as to what sort of news to report, but it does not determine what will be newsworthy.