News is information that informs or entertains the public. It can cover a wide range of topics, from sports to politics and economics, but all good news stories must be both interesting and accurate.
When deciding what makes newsworthy, editors look at the five criteria for news: timeliness, newness, uniqueness, prominence and significance. A story that meets all of these will likely be very important and therefore newsworthy. The news media is a complex and ever-changing industry. Depending on the time and place, the same event can have very different news values. For example, a coup d’etat in your neighbouring country is more significant than one in your own, but both have the potential to affect the stability of your society.
It is important that any news story is factual, but it is also critical to keep in mind that the truth can be difficult to determine. It can be challenging for journalists to strike a balance between being entertaining and accurate, but that is an essential part of the job.
Veteran reporters spend a lot of time on the field, listening for telling snippets of conversation and dialogue, and observing people, buildings and places to develop their news report. This helps them capture the atmosphere of a situation. It is a skill that takes practice, because description for its own sake can distract and clutter the news.
In addition to factual accuracy, an in-depth news article must be well written. It should present a clear and concise account of the events that occured in chronological order, and it should contain a good mix of quotes from both experts and ordinary people. It is important to consider the audience of the piece, and whether it will be published in print, on TV or on the internet. This will help you decide how much background research is necessary for the piece and what the most appropriate tone is.
If you are writing for a local newspaper, it is important to write in the voice of your readers. It is equally important that you speak with them, and find out what their interests are in the topic of your story. This can be done through questionnaires or interviews. Interviews are a great way to get an idea of how an expert views the issue, and it is important that you do not use an overtly biased tone or attempt to change your interviewee’s opinions. An interview can be either on the record or off the record, and you should always disclose that it is an interview. The interviewee should feel comfortable with the interviewer, and should be allowed to express themselves freely. You should also ask the interviewee to provide any documents or photographs that might be relevant to the story. These should be included with the main news article as soon as possible, and should be clearly labelled as “Sources”. You may also want to include any photos that might help illustrate the story.