News is anything that relates to people and that has the potential to interest them. It may be an event, an achievement, a statement, or a report. Generally it is newsworthy if it will affect the lives of readers or listeners, if it has the potential to change people’s actions and attitudes, and if it is significant enough to deserve public attention.
It may also be newsworthy if it is surprising or unusual. The classic example is “Dog bites man”. However, this definition can vary from society to society as what is considered surprising or unusual may differ. For example, in a society that eats dogs it may be important that a dog bites a man; however, in another society it would not be newsworthy.
The weather and the environment – floods, droughts, storms – are all of interest. Stories about the production of food and drink – a shortage, a glut, a new variety of fruit or wine, the price of bread – will also be interesting. Likewise, stories about the art world – music, dance, theatre and cinema – are worth telling. Likewise, stories about famous men and women make news and even scandals can be fascinating.
The key to writing good news articles is knowing your audience and finding the angle which will engage them. Asking the five W’s – who, what, where, when and why – will help you to do this. You can then build on this by researching your topic further to find out more about the background to the story and to develop an understanding of how it will be perceived by your audience.