News is information about people, events or things which are significant or unusual. They can be of national or local interest and are often about people’s lives, but they can also be about things which affect the world around us such as a storm, an earthquake or a war. In general, the more interesting, significant or unusual a story is, the more likely it will be to be newsworthy.
There are six key elements to a good news story: impact, unusualness, controversy, timeliness, relevance and prominence. A story must meet at least one of these to be considered newsworthy, and the more of them it meets, the more newsworthy it is. The impact of a story is important as it relates to the effect it will have on society and individuals. Unusual events are important as they add to the richness of life and can be a source of fascination. Controversy arouses curiosity and makes for exciting news. Timeliness refers to how quickly the story is happening and its significance within a specific timeframe. Relevance relates to whether the story is of interest or concern to a particular group of readers. Finally, prominence is the importance a story has within the context of other news stories in the same publication or on the same medium.
All information in a news article must be sourced and the reporter should clearly state where it came from. This is called attribution and it shows that the journalist has checked the information to ensure that it is accurate and fair.