News is about what is happening in the world and the community. It is about events that have happened recently or will happen soon. It can be about people and their actions, things that have happened to animals, plants, weather or the environment. It can also be about politics, business and the economy. The classic definition of news is “Man bites dog”. However, this does not apply to all societies as what is considered unusual in one society may be normal in another.
The selection of what makes news will vary from society to society and it is up to journalists and editors to decide what is important enough to be included in a newspaper or magazine. When writing a news article, a snappy headline should capture the reader’s attention and then it is important to include factual information from interviews or research. It is not a good idea to write an opinion piece or include your own opinions. This will confuse the reader and could even offend them. Instead, writers should aim to use the inverted pyramid format- putting the most important information at the top and then following with supporting details.
The underlying model is that news should reflect reality and this has given rise to various theories of what makes news, including the Mirror Model which states that news should reflect the beliefs of the audience, the Organizational Model which argues that news is about power and influence and the Bargaining Model which outlines that the pressures of the political environment affect what is reported as news. The other major model is the Audience Model which focuses on the different audiences and their reactions to news.