News is any information that is deemed important and makes it into the public domain. It can be anything from the mundane to the dramatic.
Regardless of the type of news, it should be factually correct and well written. It should also be interesting, to capture the reader’s attention and keep them coming back for more.
How do journalists decide what news to cover?
A journalist decides whether a story is worthy of being covered by judging its impact, significance and relevance. This judgment is influenced by the journalist’s belief system, social environment and professional routines.
There are many models for deciding what is news, but they all focus on a particular element of the story. For example, a reporter’s model might focus on defining the story as having a strong impact, including violence and scandal, being familiar and local, being timely and being true to the facts.
Other factors can influence how news is selected, such as the newspaper’s editorial policy and competition for exclusives. It is also influenced by the audience’s political or cultural beliefs.
Time factor: The more relevant the story is, the more effective it will be. This is because people are more likely to read stories that relate to current events.
Emotion: People love to empathise with events that are painful or upsetting. They want to know about those things that are affecting them and their loved ones, so they will look for these stories in the media.
Oddity: Unusual or extraordinary stories generate public interest and make them newsworthy. These are the types of stories that catch the eye and arouse curiosity, which can also cause readers to share them on social media or comment on them.
Drama: A story that involves drama and suspense can be exciting and make it a good candidate for the news. The story might be about a rescue or an escape, or it could be about a court case or a crime.
Entertainment: Soft stories concerning sex, showbusiness, sport or animals are also popular choices for news items. Some may even be perceived as witty or humorous.
Audio-visual: This includes stories with arresting photographs, video and/or infographics. This can be particularly successful in the Internet age.
Sharing: Stories that have the potential to be shared and commented on by others via social media such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs are considered important.
Using secondary sources: It is important to find sources for all of the information you need when writing a news article. This can be as simple as finding a local newspaper or website to get a quote from, or it can involve interviewing someone who is affected by the topic.
Once the story is written, it needs to be edited carefully before publication. This includes editing for brevity and concision, as well as editing to make sure that it follows the inverted pyramid structure discussed earlier. This will ensure that your news article meets the expectations of its audience and publication.