What Makes Good News?


News is anything that interests, surprises, excites or amuses readers of a newspaper or magazine, listeners of a radio program or viewers of a television or cinema show. Generally, news is current, but it can also be a record of events that have happened in the past. News should be written clearly so that everyone can understand it, and it should be reported fairly. Many people have opinions about what makes good News, and these opinions vary widely from one person to the next. However, there are certain criteria that many journalists believe are important in determining whether something is newsworthy. These include: timelessness, drama, importance, interest and significance.

A news article begins with a headline that summarizes the main points of the story and piques reader interest. The headline should be short and to the point, using Associated Press style guidelines unless your publication specifies otherwise. The headline should be followed by a byline that gives the name of the writer. Once the reader has read the headline and byline, he or she should be able to determine whether the rest of the article is worth reading.

In the past, it was common for newspapers to run photographs that accompanied news stories. These photographs were often of famous people or events that had occurred. Today, the Internet has changed the way we consume news. People now have access to more information than ever before, and the information is almost instantaneous. While this has changed the way we consume news, it has not changed the fact that the basic components of a news story remain the same.

Traditionally, most journalists have believed that the most important characteristics of a good news story are:


Generally speaking, something that has already happened is not news, unless it is a historical event being marked by an anniversary. In this case, the anniversary can be just as newsworthy as the event that happened in the first place.


A large portion of the news that we read in newspapers or magazines, watch on TV or hear on the radio is dramatic. This means that the events that occur have a clear good and bad, as well as an element of suspense. A robbery at a convenience store, for example, is dramatic news because it has the potential to be an exciting story with clearly identifiable good and bad characters.

Familiarity and geography

Generally, something that occurs in your own country is not as big of a story as a similar situation happening in a different country, especially if it involves political upheaval or natural disasters. This is because news audiences tend to be most interested in issues that directly affect them and their families. In addition, a foreign government’s actions can have an effect on the stability of your own country. This is why it’s important to have a solid understanding of international affairs and current events. To this end, LAMPLit has compiled a list of books and other resources that can help you further your knowledge of these topics.