News is an event or development that is interesting, significant, and worthy of being shared. It usually involves people and has wide impact. Often it is controversial, or has a moral component. News is generally based on facts, but opinions, emotions and reactions can also be reported. The purpose of news is to inform the public. This is done through newspapers, radio and television. It may also educate and amuse, but entertainment is more commonly a separate area of focus – music and drama on the radio; cartoons and crossword puzzles in newspapers.
A key element in deciding whether something is newsworthy is its timeliness. For example, if you were writing about a football game, it is unlikely that you would include information about the score of the previous game. The reader may already be aware of that information. You may be better off focusing on what is happening in the current game.
In addition to determining the timeliness of an event, it is important to consider the audience for the story. Generally speaking, most news stories are geared toward a specific demographic. This can be a geographic area – for example, the readers of a newspaper based in Kansas City – or it could be a particular interest group – for example, parents with young children.
A well written news article should not introduce personal bias or opinion. If you are writing about a fire at a residential home, for example, it is inappropriate to talk about your own experience of living in the same neighborhood.