News is information about events which are new to your readers, listeners or viewers. It has to be unusual, interesting, significant and about people. It must also be timely – it should have happened recently or will happen soon. The more important the event, the bigger the story. A coup in a neighbouring country is a very big story; an assassination of Mrs Gandhi is a lesser one.
What is newsworthy will vary from society to society, but there are certain things which are always newsworthy. For example, all societies are interested in the health of their members, and so are interested in stories about hospitals and clinics, medical research, diseases, diet and exercise. All societies are also interested in their celebrities, and so are interested in stories about them – where they have been, what they have been doing and what they say.
It is very important that you get the facts right in a news story, and that you write clearly and concisely. If possible, have someone else read your article before you submit it for publication – they can often spot spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and awkward sentences which don’t make sense.
Most people agree that the main job of news media – newspapers, magazines, radio and television – is to inform and educate their audiences, not to entertain them. The entertainment can come from other areas – music and drama programmes on the radio, cartoons in the newspaper, crosswords in magazines and so on.