From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
News is any new information or information on current events which is relayed by print, broadcast, Internet, or word of mouth to a third party or mass audience. The reporting and investigation of news falls within the profession of journalism. News is often reported by a variety of sources, such as newspapers, television, and radio programs, wire services, and web sites. News reporting is a type of journalism, typically written or broadcast in news style. Most news is investigated and presented by journalists and can be distributed to various outlets via news agencies.
There are many categories of news. The weather is typically presented by a certified meteorologist or, on smaller stations, a less-trained "weatherman" and is considered news. Other news categories are: sports, fashion, society, entertainment, business, cartoon strips, features, lottery numbers, lives of celebrities, advertising, and more. Until the 1970s, when women's lib issues came to the forefront, most newspapers had a "Women's" section devoted entirely to fashion and society news. Papers even printed "cheesecake" feature photos of attractive young women in bikinis, often transmitted by the AP or UPI wire services, illustrating various news events or feature ideas.
In its infancy, news gathering was primitive by today's standards. Printed news had to be phoned in to a newsroom or brought there by a reporter where it was typed and either transmitted over wire services or edited and manually set in type along with other news stories for a specific edition. Today, the term "Breaking News" has become trite as broadcast and cable news services use live satellite technology to bring current events into consumers' homes live as it happens. Events that used to take hours or days to become common knowledge in towns or in nations are fed instantaneously to consumers via radio, television, cell phones, and the Internet.
Most large cities had morning and afternoon newspapers. As the media evolved and news outlets increased to the point of near oversaturation, afternoon newspapers were shut down except for relatively few. Morning newspapers have been gradually losing circulation, according to reports advanced by the papers themselves.
Commonly, news content should contain the who, what, when, where, why, and how of an event. There should be no questions remaining. Newspapers normally write hard news stories, such as those pertaining to murders, fires, wars, etc. in inverted pyramid style so the most important information is at the beginning. Busy readers can read as little or as much as they desire. Local stations and networks with a set format must take news stories and break them down into the most important aspects due to time constraints. Cable news channels such as Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and CNN, are able to take advantage of a story, sacrificing other, decidedly less important stories, and giving as much detail about breaking news as possible.
In democracies, news organizations are often expected to aim for objectivity: Reporters claim to try to cover all sides of an issue without bias, as compared to commentators or analysts, who provide opinion or personal point-of-view.
In the United Kingdom, limits are set by the government agency Ofcom, the Office of Communications. Both newspapers and broadcast news programs in the United States are generally expected to remain neutral and avoid bias except for clearly indicated editorial articles or segments.
Many single-party countries have operated state-run news organizations, which may present the government's views. Even in those situations where objectivity is expected, it is difficult to achieve, and individual journalist may fall foul of their own personal bias, or succumb to commercial or political pressure. Individuals and organizations who are the subject of news reports may use news management techniques to try to make a favourable impression.
"News" developed as a special use of the plural form of "new" in the 14th century. In Middle English, the equivalent word was 'newes', based on the French 'nouvelles'.