A definition of news can be a bit difficult as it’s up to the person writing the definition to describe what news is. However, most people understand that news is any new information that is not known before, either current events broadcast on the television, radio or in regular print media, or even a previously unknown or unheard of event occurring somewhere. One way to look at the definition of news though is to think of it as being an ‘opinion’ about any given issue, whether it’s political, sporting or otherwise. An opinion may be news, but not necessarily all news.
The topic of opinions is extremely wide and news can be written about virtually any subject imaginable. Some of the events that would qualify as news to some might not qualify as news to others. For example, while one newspaper may report that China has launched a new space ship with human life living inside, another newspaper may report that the same newspaper reported that the Chinese government said that the ship was only a theory. This is called the difference between news and opinion. Now, if a government official say that the new space ship is real, and another newspaper writes that they’re just floating theories, we could call both newspapers news.
Of course, we can also talk about the difference between reporting something that happened and putting it on paper that a human being could read, and what makes news is the reporting itself. A story which makes a lot of sense and is exciting for the reader is going to get a lot of attention, even if other people don’t agree. This is part of the reason why many newspapers do feature stories on stories that are’stills’. This type of news attracts readers because they have heard it before and know that the writer has put much effort into developing this story.
Stories of great interest to readers are often given more attention by the press than less interesting ones, simply because readers feel more compelled to learn more. In order to make news, some news agencies or perhaps journalists choose to focus on certain things. News readers need to understand this, as well: certain topics are more important to certain people, and therefore are going to be covered more than others. It’s not as simple as saying, ‘All the news agencies are focusing on this’, because different people will have different needs. Therefore, it’s very important to understand that a story can have both news value and non-news value to a number of readers at once.
In fact, this is one of the reasons that current events are so interesting: they are not only newsworthy, but they can also attract a number of readers to your website. What makes news event interesting is that there are normally significant factors which make it unique, i.e. something that is not typical, but that has nevertheless managed to become part of the general news event. Something like this is newsworthy, because it is different, and therefore captures a different audience than regular news event would: an audience which is interested in unusual events, which is not interested in the usual news, and also not necessarily the same audience as readers who are only interested in the regular news: news readers who are interested in breaking news.
This is why local news matters so much. A local news event may affect listeners and readers in a number of ways, both directly and indirectly. For example, a new shop opening in the local town square, or a new resident moving in, will be news to some local residents, who may be interesting in discussing the matter on their community bulletin board, or even passing it on to friends and neighbours. This is where a good community bulletin board can have real, measurable impact on community participation.