What Makes News Interesting?


The information that makes it into a newspaper, onto the TV news line-up or posted on a news Internet site is the result of the decisions made by people who work for a particular news organization. They are called editors, news directors or even news managers. Although they may take recommendations from reporters and assistant editors, it is they who decide which events will become news. Thus, they are the gatekeepers of information for their organization and their larger culture.

The basic characteristics of News that make it interesting to readers are timeliness, drama, consequence, proximity and narrative. Timeliness is the most important. People will only be interested in news that has happened recently or is current. That’s why the first paragraph is so important in a news article: It should grab the reader, tell him or her where and when the story is happening, and introduce the main facts.

Drama is also essential. A good news item should contain conflict, tension and drama. For example, a car accident, murder, fire or flood will generate interest. People will always want to empathise with people who are hurt or in danger. That is why human stories are so important in the news.

Consequence is the last but one of the most important aspects of News. It is the effect that a news event will have on individuals, communities and society at large. This can be economic, social or environmental. For example, an oil spill in the ocean will impact the environment but not as much as a cyclone that affects thousands of people in a remote village.

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