News is information about current events. The best news articles are brief so that people will read them, clear so they will understand them, picturesquely presented so they will remember them and, above all, accurate so they will be guided by them.
All news has some sort of significance, but the strength of a story depends on how many of the following five elements it possesses: newness, unusualness, interest, importance and relevance. It can also be influenced by proximity (did the event affect or touch upon a large number of people?), controversy and prominence (did a well-known person take part?).
It is almost impossible to say what makes a good or bad piece of news because different societies will have different interests and priorities. For example, a man going to work by bus every day might not be interesting in one society but significant in another, while the death of a famous person is likely to be important to everyone.
The amount of information that is available to us has increased enormously thanks to the Internet and 24-hour news stations, so it is important to be selective about what we read and watch. We need to be aware that not all news stories are created equal and some may be manipulated to suit particular political agendas or even just to attract attention.
Those who are concerned about the quality of news should look for outlets that report on issues in an objective way such as VOX, Refinery29 and The Skimm and Flare’s Explainer series. These can be a welcome relief from the constant barrage of sensational or partisan news and should be included in our regular reading.