What is News?

What Does News Mean

We explain what news is, its parts, types, structure and other characteristics. Also, what it is for and various examples.

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A news item should be conveyed in the most objective way possible.

What is news?

A news item is a type of journalistic text , both written and audio or audiovisual, which consists of an objective narration of some new, current event of public interest . There are those who distinguish it from the journalistic note, arguing that the news is the story told itself, while the note is the text through which it is told.

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The news is the result of the compilation of information by one or more journalists , either because they were present at the scene, or because they consulted those who were, or because they consulted documentation in this regard.

It differs from other forms of journalistic communication in that it must be transmitted in the most objective way possible, without allowing for subjectivities or self-referential data of the journalist.

Generally, a news includes three different parts , which are:

  • Title. Input text and published in a larger size, which in a limited number of words summarizes the information and attracts the attention of the public. It must be precise and concise.
  • The lead. Known as lead (from English "guide"), a first paragraph of the text, in which the most relevant data of the news is concentrated.
  • The body. Where the development and deepening of the lead occurs, and progress is made in the presentation of the news.
  • The closing or auction. That it is nothing more than a conclusion , where secondary ideas are added or supplementary information is provided to the reader.

The news is transmitted to the interested public through the media , whether printed or audiovisual, and whether from an informative, general, or more technical perspective, as in the case of specialized media.

It can help you: Informative text

News features

Broadly speaking, the news is characterized by:

  • Have a narrative form , that is, consist of a journalistic story.
  • Its composition must be objective and impersonal , that is, the journalist cannot comment or take positions, but only refer to what happened. You should never write "I".
  • Address novel, recent or current issues , and that are relevant to public opinion.
  • Be written in an informative , non-specialized language that allows anyone to access the information.
  • Contain hierarchical information in such a way as to detail the facts as precisely as possible (inverted pyramid structure).
  • Be oral or written, or even audiovisual , depending on the news medium.

Types of news

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News can deal with topics as different as sports or politics.

The traditional way of classifying the news attends to two fundamental characteristics: its general theme and the treatment it receives. Let's see each one separately:

  • According to its general theme , the news can be classified into:
    • Policies. When they have to do with national or international political life .
    • Sports. When they relate relevant events for the different sports communities in the country.
    • Economical. When they have to do with productivity , finances or the world of money and work in general.
    • Cultural When they refer to events in the artistic, literary and cultural life of the country.
    • Social. When they relate events of community importance.
    • Of show business. Or also shows, when they address topics related to fashion, movie and television stars or pop culture.
    • Police. When they relate events related to crime, the police or the detective world.
    • Scientific. When they address topics of specialized interest in science and technology .
  • According to their treatment of the subject , on the other hand, the news is classified into:
    • Future or future. When events that will occur in the more or less near future are announced in them.
    • Current. When they address relevant events in daily and immediate everyday life.
    • Of ephemeris. When they relate events that occurred in the past but are commemorated or relevant to the present context .
    • Complementary. When they address less relevant news but that complement or complete other main news.
    • Of public service. When the information is reported focusing on what may be relevant or useful to the public.

Structure of the news

The usual structure of the news is known as an “inverted pyramid”: it always starts from the most relevant and punctual information, towards the broader context . In other words, a news story must be written in the sense of the most specific, the most general.

To comply with this condition, it is recommended that the first paragraph of all news be written in such a way as to answer the five questions ("5 W" in English) of journalism:

  • What happened?
  • Who or who?
  • Where did it happen?
  • When it happened?
  • Why did it happen?

In the rest of the note, the "how did it happen?" Could be developed, and supplementary information could even be added, such as references to previous news that are related, or events that serve to detail the context of the news.

What is news for?

A news item is simply used to inform your audience of one or more events in a specific area. In other words, it is a source of data, events or news of interest to public opinion .

At the same time, it fulfills the social role of disseminating and making public the events in which it is interested, which keeps the instances of power within society under scrutiny . This is a vital role in sustaining a healthy democracy, and that is why dictatorial regimes censor the press and control what news is published, and which is not.

News Examples

The following are some examples of news:

  • "The US Supreme Court rules in favor of the Trump administration in the case of express deportations of asylum seekers" in BBC News Mundo.
  • "The French pharmaceutical Sanofi will eliminate 1,680 jobs in Europe in three years" in EuroNews.
  • "A space telescope completed the most detailed map of the universe in x-rays" in Infobae.
  • "Maravilla Martínez returns to boxing and his return has a date and place" in La Nación (Argentina).

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