Six Elements of News

News is information about an event that is new and unusual. It is usually told in a way that will grab attention and interest readers or listeners.

What is newsworthy varies from society to society. If you live in a country where dogs are eaten, then “man bites dog” may not be news, but if you live in a place where the only way to get meat is by killing animals then this could well be big news!

It is also important that the news is not boring. People have short attention spans and will not continue to read or watch if the content is not interesting. News stories should be concise and only include the necessary information. Including too much detail can cause the reader to lose interest or to feel that they have already heard the same information elsewhere.

The six elements of news are:

Timeliness: The story should be about something that is happening now. It is not newsworthy to report on an event that happened a week ago!

Interest: The story should be interesting and significant. This is especially important if it affects the lives of ordinary people in some way.

Unusual: The event should be strange or out of the ordinary. An ordinary person waking up, eating breakfast and going to work on the bus does not make news, but a man in his 90s walking across the Grand Canyon does!

News is not primarily entertainment, but it can be entertaining. For example, music and drama programmes on radio or news cartoons in newspapers will entertain people.

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