What Is News?


News is information about events that have happened, are happening or will happen. It may include news about people, places and things, either ordinary or extraordinary. News is a vital part of democracy, because it allows citizens to keep informed about what their government and fellow citizens are doing and saying. This is why a free press is often called the oxygen of a democracy.

The classic definition of news is “Man bites dog”. But this does not apply to all societies: in some societies it is quite normal for a man to eat a dog (but only if it has been cooked first). Also, what is considered important enough to be news varies from society to society.

Crime: Road traffic offences, burglaries and murders are always interesting but especially so when they occur in unusual ways or when they affect a high number of people. Money: How rich people make their fortunes and how poor people can get by are of interest, as are the wages and salaries paid by employers and governments, inflation rates, crop prices and droughts. Health: People are interested in their own health and the health of others, and this is reflected in stories about hospitals and clinics, traditional remedies, medical research and diseases. Sex: All societies are interested in sex, particularly when it goes against social norms or involves unusual behaviour.

In-depth news is a type of news article that takes a specific subject and researches it extensively. This should not be done by just putting a lot of facts into an article; it is important to provide context and link to previous coverage, as well as explain key terminology and the process of how the information was obtained.

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