News is information about a recent event that is important or interesting to the general public. News stories are designed to grab the audience’s attention by using the elements of surprise, conflict, and magnitude. The audience’s reaction to the news story will determine its impact. There are many ways to write a news article, but all should be factually correct and engaging.
News can be political, social, economic or cultural in nature. The content of the news is determined by the interests of the newspaper’s readers and the societal values of the time. The most influential news is often that which challenges existing beliefs. For example, a scientist may report that an insect has been found living on a plant which it did not previously inhabit. This discovery is new and unusual, but will only interest a limited number of people outside of the scientific community. However, if that same insect is discovered to be eating crops of great importance to the local farmers, then it will become news of significant importance.
Students should use a variety of sources to gather information about current events in their communities and around the world. In addition to traditional news outlets, blogs and opinion sections of magazines can also be useful tools for gaining perspective on an issue. Students should also consider the effect of political bias on their news selections. They might attempt to find a relatively unbiased news source, or use a news aggregator site that provides multiple perspectives on a given event.