News is any item that is new, unusual or interesting. It could be about people, places or things. It should be significant and impact upon people’s lives in some way. It should be told quickly so that people can understand it and so that they will want to read more about it. It should also be presented clearly, picturesquely and accurately so that it will stand out and remain in the memory.
One might think that with the rise of social media, newspapers and radio are obsolete; but, on the contrary, they continue to play a very important role in society. They still provide analysis and interpretation of events, offering background information, expert opinions and different perspectives, allowing audiences to form their own conclusions. They promote accountability by exposing corruption and unethical behaviour, ensuring that those in power are answerable to the public.
In addition to these important functions, news should entertain as well. This can be done in many ways – music and drama on television and radio, crosswords and cartoons in newspapers, etc. People like to be shocked, surprised and delighted. This is why stories of natural disasters, murders and terrorist attacks generate so much interest. Stories of famous people – their lives, achievements and failures – are also very popular. People are interested in health, so they are interested in stories about diseases, hospitals and clinics; they are interested in traditional remedies; they are also interested in sex, particularly when it involves behaviour that goes outside society’s generally accepted norms.