News is an item that relates to current events and provides a way for people to learn about the world. It presents important, interesting and/or significant information to its audience in a fast, accurate manner. It is often accompanied by commentary or opinion. News also serves as a watchdog, monitoring and exposing abuses of power, corruption and wrongdoing. It can also be used for entertainment and leisure, offering a break from serious news through features, lifestyle segments and cultural coverage.
To decide whether an event is newsworthy, journalists ask themselves the “5 W’s”: Who, What, Where, When and Why. They also consider the audience – for example, a news article for a local newspaper would be different from one for a national paper or broadcast. This helps determine the tone and level of detail to use.
To be a good news story, an event must be new and unusual. It must also be significant, incorporate violence and scandal and be timely. It is important to be able to describe the impact of the event and identify who is affected. Finally, the event must be understandable to a broad audience. This is why news stories are frequently accompanied by photos and graphics. It is also why it is important for a story to be concise and not to include opinions. If an opinion is included, it should be credited to its source. This ensures the integrity of the article. It can also help prevent readers from becoming distracted by personal biases or preconceptions.