News not only educates the people but also is a means for the posterity to learn from the past mistakes, and hence it becomes critically important that news is documented. There are many people who believe everything that a news agency reports, however one should be cautious in believing a news piece as its capacity to do harm is great.
News has become the centre point of the world. It is the process of dissemination of information. In the old glory days, the process of news gathering was quite primitive compared to today’s standards. A reporter had to phone in or bring the printed news into a newsroom. There 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.
The term news, these days, has become stale as live satellite technology is used by broadcast and cable news services to bring current events into consumers’ homes live as they happen. Radio, television, mobile phone, and the Internet have ushered us into an era where events that used to take hours or days to become common knowledge in towns or in nations are fed instantaneously to consumers through these means.
News is created these days by the media, not simply reported. The objective and job of all news media is to inform the audience of what’s going on in their community – locally, nationally or globally. The news media provide a valuable public service in this sense.
If a news piece is unable to answer the five basic questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How?, to satisfy the curiosity of the reader, then it does not qualify as a news piece.
Reporting of facts is news, but when someone is exaggerating and distorting news information, it is known as sensationalism, and if someone is indulging in sensationalism, then he is deviating from the truth, facts and news.
News plays a pivotal role in human affairs. The spread of education has greatly increased the importance of news. To make vital decisions in life, people need a well-rounded understanding of politics, the environment, social structures, and economy, in short- of news.
The news exerts a profound influence on the audience as a lot of people believe almost everything that news agencies report. Therefore a news piece can cause a lot of harm if it is reported wrongly, either by mistake of design. One the other hand, a news agency can do a lot of good if it has a policy to promote the welfare of the people. For example, it could exercise its influence to persuade the government of a country to do many things for the benefit of the people.
In summation, news is very important in the current scenario, but not all of it is true. We must sort the trivial from the profound, judge it appropriately, and then, if needed, act on it. Without this, we may find ourselves overwhelmed with information or, worse, giving opinions when it would be better to remain silent.