News is current information about a specific event that catches people’s attention. It is usually presented in a newspaper, magazine or radio programme and is intended to inform people about what is happening in their country and the world. News is often used as a form of entertainment too, with music and drama on TV and radio and crosswords and cartoons in newspapers. It is important to remember, however, that it is the job of the news media to inform and educate, not entertain. The entertainment should come from other areas – like music and comedy programmes on radio and television, or novels and plays in print.
What makes something newsworthy is often very different between societies. For example, if dogs are eaten in a society it will not be news when someone bites one; but if the act is unusual for that culture it might be. Events that are new and unusual, or which impact on the public in a significant way, are also likely to be newsworthy. This might include discoveries made by scientists, or developments in politics, military conflict or natural disasters.
In addition to straight reporting, news can also take the form of a feature – an in-depth article that takes a single subject and researches it extensively. For instance, a piece about an investigation into the cause of a fire at a residential property might feature interviews with the people involved and heavily detailed graphs.