What Is News?

News is what happens in the world that people care about. It is reported in a way that catches attention, is short enough to read, written so it is clearly understood, picturesquely presented and, above all, accurate (Schultz 2007; Phillips 2015).

The types of events that make news include war, crime, government policy, education, the environment, health, fashion, celebrity, business and sport. People also like to hear about things that are strange or unusual. Historically, new information spread slowly through word-of-mouth or letters to friends and neighbours. Today, the rapid spread of information and knowledge is facilitated by telecommunications technology. Events that once took hours or days to reach a small town or village can now be broadcast instantly worldwide over the internet and mobile phone networks.

It is important for language learners to consume news from a wide range of sources. This helps them develop their vocabulary and understand different perspectives on the same event. If you find some news difficult to understand, look for resources specifically designed for English learners or try reading it out loud to help you pronounce the words correctly.

When choosing what news to read and share, remember that the best stories are those that inform or inspire us. Try to avoid sharing stories that are purely reactionary and will only add to the negative noise in our social feeds. Instead, look for sources that take the time to thoughtfully explain different sides of an issue such as VOX, Refinery29, The Skimm and Flare’s Explainer series.