News is the presentment of current events to the public in a clear and concise manner. It can be hard or soft news, and may also include a feature piece which takes a smaller subject to explore in greater depth. It is generally without personal bias and is based on factual research. The most important functions of news are to inform and educate the population, but it can also entertain and amuse. It can also help to create a sense of community and provide a forum for discussion and debate. It is a vital part of democracy, because it allows citizens to form their opinions and hold their government accountable.
There are many different theories about what makes news, but most agree that it must be something significant that affects a large number of people. It should also have some sort of emotional impact, and ideally should involve controversy or conflict. Proximity to home is another factor, as is the ability of a story to generate interest and conversation.
News can be a powerful way to promote a business, but it must be presented in an objective and ethical manner. Journalists adhere to a set of ethics known as the “mirror model”, which stresses accuracy and fairness. This requires them to verify information, cite their sources and avoid bias. In addition, they should always write with the intended audience in mind. This is done by focusing on the issues that are most important to them.