News is information about events and developments that occur in the world. News can be published in a variety of ways, such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio or on the Internet. It can be both factual and entertaining and serves a number of different purposes. It keeps people informed about what is going on in their local communities, their country and internationally. It also educates and explains, breaking down complex ideas into easily digestible chunks. It can also serve as a watchdog, exposing corruption and wrongdoing. And it can also provide entertainment and leisure, through features, lifestyle segments and cultural coverage.
It is often said that a story makes news when it is new, unusual, interesting and significant. However, it is important to note that these criteria are merely guidelines. Events that may meet one of these criteria may not always be newsworthy. For example, scientists may report that an insect has been found living on a plant it did not previously inhabit, but this story is unlikely to interest anyone beyond experts or enthusiasts. However, if the same insect is now destroying crops, this could be of great concern to the public and would therefore be a significant story.
Another way to understand the importance of these criteria is to compare the same story when presented in different media. For example, try writing the same news article first as a newspaper story, then as a TV script and finally as a two-minute radio piece.