What is News? News is an unpublished account of human action, which seeks either to inform, interest, or entertain the readers. The first necessity of news is that it must not have already been published somewhere else before. It must come straight to the audience for the very first time.
For news to make its way into the public domain, it has to be of some substantial value. This makes it different from other forms of literature, such as books or magazine articles. News can only become known to a large number of people through the medium of print. In comparison to other written forms of information, the amount of published news remains relatively small, relative to the volume of newspaper circulation. As such, the profession of news reporting has a fairly high level of importance, and journalists who succeed are prized for their skill in gathering, compiling, and disseminating important current events.
There are two types of news: general and breaking. General news comprises any significant event that has taken place with a limited geographical area, such as the latest war or weather reports. Breaking news, on the other hand, refers to any new event that involves human action. It can be anything, from new inventions to major political or financial developments. A good example would be the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment last year, which was followed by a series of sensational newspaper reports.
All forms of journalism have some underlying principles that drive them. The profession of journalism as a whole is characterised by a number of specific practices, including objectivity, confidentiality, balance, and validity. These values are inherent in all forms of reporting, but especially in that of news. Reliable sources of information are referred to, and the identity of those sources is never disclosed to readers, except perhaps to associate editors or the press office. Editors and journalists must therefore strive to maintain an environment of trust and confidence between them and their readers, and to make sure that this trust is not misplaced.
Reliable reporters and journalists are supposed to uphold high standards of integrity, responsibility, accuracy, timeliness, and objectivity. All the elements of this code of professional behaviour should be observed while working. Reliable news storytellers will always ensure that their sources are reliable, and they will never publish any information or story that is not backed up by solid facts. Editors and journalists will also never publish any news story if they themselves do not believe in the story’s credibility, objectivity, and accuracy. If this happens, the credibility and objectivity of the entire project becomes compromised, and the news story loses its credibility.
In short, journalism at its best is a field concerned with real human interest stories, and it aims at providing information to its audience, rather than pure entertainment. News, in short, is a form of information meant to inform as well as entertain. Therefore, news reporting has to be performed in a manner which does not unjustly put any individual, organization, government or public policy in harm’s way. By practicing good storytelling practises, Journalists and editors can contribute significantly to the betterment of society as a whole – by spreading accurate, relevant, and interesting information, and by ensuring that the news remains relevant, current and credible at all times.