News is media that informs us about people, events and things that happen in the world. It can be serious, such as wars and natural disasters, or it can be entertaining, like movies and TV shows. It can also be persuasive, such as advertisements. It is important to know what makes a good news story so we can make informed choices about what we read, watch and listen to. This is called being news literate, or media smart.
The decisions about what gets into a newspaper, on a television news line-up or on a website are made by people who work for a particular news organization. They are called editors, news directors or even, in some cases, news managers. These gatekeepers sift through recommendations from reporters, assistant editors and other staff members to decide what will be newsworthy. They look for an event that is new, unusual, interesting, significant and has drama. They also consider proximity and narrative.
Drama is often found in events that involve conflict between good and bad characters. For example, a robbery at a convenience store is newsworthy because it involves conflict between the people who were robbed and the criminals. This type of story typically focuses on the good and bad, making it clear who is doing what, and why.
Significant stories are those that have an impact on the lives of many people. For example, a major flood in a city will have an effect on the people living there, as will a drought or an earthquake. People are also interested in events that have an effect on their economic well-being. For example, a rise or fall in the price of oil or the price of food are both significant events.