What Is News?


News is important information about events that affect people. It may be reported in newspapers, radio, television, or online. News reports typically include the who, what, when, where, and why of an event. It also includes background and other relevant information. News articles should contain only factual information and should not include the author’s opinions. They should follow the inverted pyramid format with critical information early on and less important information later in the story.

Veteran reporters listen and watch for snippets of conversations that can reveal significant information or help readers place the scene. They fill their notebooks with details that develop character and place. Description for its own sake can kill an article, though, so writers must use restraint and be judicious.

In addition to a lead paragraph that establishes the dominant point of the story, news articles typically include a byline (identifying who wrote the article) and the elements of the AP style guide:

Aside from the traditional printed newspaper, we now have news available on television and through the Internet. As a result, we no longer have to wait for the morning edition of the paper to find out what’s happening. In fact, we can find it out as soon as it happens or even earlier. These developments raise interesting questions about the definition of news.