News is a brief account of something that has recently happened or is happening. It is often found in newspapers, magazines and radio but can also be seen on TV and the Internet. News is usually about events of interest to a wide range of people and can include topics such as war, crime, government, politics, religion, business, education, health, the environment, fashion, entertainment and sport. It can also cover a variety of quirky or unusual events.
When writing a news article it is important to remember that the main aim of news reporting is to inform, rather than entertain. Although it is sometimes necessary to provide a degree of entertainment, this should be done in a way that does not compromise the integrity of the information being provided. This can be achieved by using humour and pictures, but should not be done at the expense of factual accuracy or fairness.
It is also important to know your audience. This will help you decide how to format your article and what facts to include. Knowing your audience will also make it easier to write the lead (the title and first paragraph of the story) as it will help you to focus on what is most important to them.
A good news article starts with a hook and a lead which grabs the attention of the reader and makes them want to read the rest of the article. It should then give a short summary of the key points and be as interesting as possible. It should also be accurate and written in clear, simple language. The news story should also be above the fold of a newspaper or in the top half of an online article as this will ensure that the most important information is visible to readers before they have scrolled past it.
Finally, a good news article will conclude with an actionable piece of advice. This can be anything from a warning to a guide and should again be as interesting as possible. The final paragraph should also be a summary of the main points and should include a byline which credits the writer.
Theories of news values can be helpful in understanding why and how certain stories are chosen to be published, but they do not explain everything. It is not unusual for arbitrary factors such as luck, convenience and serendipity to play a role – for example, when a planned story falls through at the last minute and another one which has been discarded is selected in its place. This can be particularly true of breaking news stories such as accidents, disasters, rescues and battles which generate a great deal of public interest. These kinds of stories often get priority in the press over other news items which are less dramatic or which involve lesser-known or obscure issues.