Examples of News are events that occur in our world that without a prior context have no known subject matter. Examples are news reports, financial market reports, and news stories about natural disasters, war, or political conflicts. Furthermore, a news story about a sports player getting drafted in the big leagues by a premier professional team is newsworthy as long as that player becomes a star at some point. Examples include Tiger Woods winning the Masters tournament, Jesse Owens breaking the record for the most consecutive Grand Slam tennis matches, and Hurricane Wilma striking Florida. While these examples may seem entirely commonplace, they do help illustrate the value of news. In fact, it has been argued that without a steady stream of regularly updated news reports the American People would lose their ability to properly assess global events.
However, when considering the profession of news writing, one must take into consideration that not all news worthy events are newsworthy. Take, for example, breaking news about a school shooter. No, one would argue that a news report on this event is important, but consider what kind of person would seek out and read this type of news. If the sole purpose of such news reports were to disseminate misinformation, it would fall flat. The news should be about real people and real events, and those who read the news are interested in what they’re being told.
To move past the problem of false information, it’s necessary to understand that many journalists embed words or phrases in their news stories that aren’t actually newsworthy. Take the recent Boston Bombings. President Obama made a speech about the incident, in which he mentioned how the bombs had been planted by fake people supposedly associated with the terror group Hezbollah. Many reporters took this to mean that Hezbollah was somehow behind the attacks, when in reality it was just a large group of citizens expressing their right to free speech. This kind of false information runs rampant through various news outlets, feeding them false information machine that is so pervasive in our digital culture.
The solution to this problem is simple; journalists should only embed actual newsworthy information in their stories. They should skip the buffer and the hype and the false information. Instead, they should report on factual information without sugar coating or trying to make it sound exciting in any way. With all the puff and glamour in Hollywood movies, it’s easy to forget that there is a business behind the news, and it’s a business that can be very profitable. Therefore, journalists should report on the news in a straightforward and honest way, allowing the reader or viewer to draw their own conclusions about the content.
The final factor to consider is that while a good reporter will insert a newsworthy information burst onto their story, they should also place a caveat or caution at the end of the article. A good reporter will allow for the possibility that the news article may cause offense to some, but they should also let their readers know that they understand that this may be offensive to some. In other words, they should warn the reader, or the web surfer, that they might be offended by this particular news article, but that they take offense to all offensive material. That is, they should communicate to the reader that you might be offended by this particular news article, but that you accept the newsworthiness of the content and the truth of the underlying facts.
In the end, the purpose of a news article is to inform the public. The news must be relevant and the reporting must be honest. When a journalist fails to do either of these things, their news piece becomes no more than a puff piece or a glorified advertisement for some product, service, or political position. This kind of news piece belongs in the junk pile, not alongside hard news stories.