What Is News?

News is information about current events, which can be of interest to the public. It can include a wide range of topics from war and politics to the weather and celebrity gossip. News is usually reported by journalists, although it can also be presented by radio and television, or written in books or newspapers.

News stories can be very positive or very negative in tone, but there is no such thing as completely unbiased news. The journalists who write the news and the outlets that carry it all have their own biases, which can affect everything from which facts to highlight to what opinions to express. It is important to read a variety of news sources and to take each story with a grain of salt.

The classic definition of news is that it is something that is unusual, and therefore worth reporting. However, what is unusual may differ from society to society. If a man bites his dog, this is probably not newsworthy, but if a farmer’s barn wall collapses killing a cow and a pig, this is likely to be newsworthy. Similarly, a rich person’s plan to feast will probably be newsworthy to his peers, but it will not be to a poor person who wants enough food to last a month.

Some researchers suggest that the main function of news is to inform people, but others say that it has more of a social influence. The latter view is supported by studies that show that when people are informed they are more likely to take action.

One of the most important elements in news is timing. It is often necessary to make decisions quickly in order to deal with emergencies and other pressing matters, and being informed allows people to do this. The speed of communication has also increased, with the development of telephones and telegraphs, and later radio and television.

Many people are interested in reading about other countries, and international news is frequently reported. This is partly because of the increased ease of travel and communication, but it is also because of a desire to understand other cultures and perspectives.

All societies are interested in the lives of famous people, and it is particularly newsworthy when they become involved in scandals or fall from grace. There are also stories about health, which can be a major concern for all people. This can include stories about medical research, diseases, hospitals and clinics. It can also include stories about traditional remedies and diets. All societies are also interested in sex, though this is not always something that is discussed openly in the media.

Almost all forms of media have some form of bias, and this is especially true of news. The Associated Press (AP), for example, is often cited in other news media and has a crowd-sourced bias rating at AllSides, which labels it as left-leaning. Other news media have different biases, which can vary by country and by political-economic context.