News is information that interests, concerns or affects people – whether in their work, play or home. It enables them to make decisions about what they want to do or how they should act. It can also entertain.
The best way to think about what is newsworthy is to look at what people want to read or listen to – and why. For example, if you hear that a major fire has broken out at a local school, you are likely to want to find out more about it, so the story will attract readers and listeners.
Crime: Any crime can be news, such as a road traffic offence, burglary, forgery or murder – but more serious crimes tend to make bigger headlines. Also, the fact that someone has made or lost a lot of money can be newsworthy – such as a businessman who gives a large sum to charity.
Timeliness: The story must happen now or be about something that happened recently. The gatekeepers of the media decide what is newsworthy based on many factors, but timeliness is one of them.
A good place to start is to look at the stories in your own newspaper, magazine or radio station and ask yourself if they meet the criteria for newsworthiness. Also, take a look at the news websites of newspapers and magazines. They vary as to how much archival (old) news they have and how easy it is to access it.