News is a timely account of events and developments that affect people’s lives. It can be about war, government, politics, business, health, education, religion, the environment and social development. It can be serious or funny, but it should be accurate. It should also be entertaining and easy to read.
Historically, the best stories were those that were both interesting and significant. They might be violent, involve scandal or have an impact on society. They could also incorporate a sense of adventure, and be local or exotic. Nowadays, news is more easily disseminated, with the rise of the Internet and mobile phones. It is harder for governments to shut down newspapers, radio and television stations but it is still possible to control the flow of information by limiting access or blocking websites.
A good story starts with a dramatic anecdote or surprising fact to grab the reader’s attention. This is called the lead and is often written by the journalist’s byline (the writer of the article) or a member of the publication staff. The lead is then followed by a nut graph which answers the questions who, what, when, where and why and places these new developments in context.
A good news article is not biased and should allow readers to form their own opinions about the subject matter. This is especially important if the article is about a controversial issue such as sex, religion or politics. If the author’s own opinion is inherently part of the article it should be clearly labelled as an editorial.