News: Definition, Types, Values & Qualities of News

Last updated on August 3rd, 2023 at 12:19 am

News has been given diverse definitions by different scholars and academicians in the field of journalism and other practices and works of life. Understanding the term News is however essential because it will help reporters and students of Journalism to understand news to better update their professional ability in news gathering and writing.


We are going to be exposing the students to different definitions of news and the elements that make up news.

What Is News?

News can be said to be an unusual event. e.g. When a dog bites a man it is not news because it happens often. But if a man bites a dog, it is news because it is unusual.

News also can be defined as the break of normal flow of event and interruption in the expected.

News also can be said to be any event (s) ranging from crime, politics, health, finance, education, etc worthy of reportage or publication by a media firm or organization.

Types Of News Reporting

  1. Straight Forward News Report: As the name implies, it report stories straight to the point by providing answers to the 5Ws and 1H. No opinion is expected to be injected into straight forward news report. This news could also be categorized as hard or soft news.
  2. Investigative News Report: This type of news report is usually long and written to expose and explain issues in details. Its thorough news is greater than that of straight forward news. Investigative news report involves a lot interviews, digging of facts, time involvement, hard work and money. It exposes the reporter to a lot of risks.
  3. Interpretative News Report: This kind is where a reporter is permitted to editorialize or comment on some issues or events for clarification. He/she analyses the implication of certain issues in the news report by using/applying his personal experience or ideas of experts in other fields.

Main Criteria For News Selection

  • New
  • Unusual
  • Interesting or Significant
  • About people

Qualities Of News

  • Accurate
  • Balanced
  • Truthful
  • Exact
  • Perfect
  • Short/Brief
  • Objective
  • Impartial
  • Concise
  • To the point
  • Clear
  • Unbiased
  • Disinclined

News Values

There are major factors that determine the news worthiness of events and ideas. These determinants of news worthiness and values are:

  1. Impact: Impact has to deal with the significant of the kind of information that interest people or that could be human interest to media consumers.
  2. Prominence: This entails event involving well known persons or institutions such as the president disembarks from a plane, of course you know when a Chancellor or a Vice Chancellor attends an occasion it will be considered news worthy than that of an  SUG President .
  3. Timeliness: Timeliness is actually regarded as one of the news value because event that are immediate are recent. People need to know what is happening around them and as fast as possible.
  4. Proximity: This has to do with newspaper circulation areas, the areas where readers and viewers are affected and also interested whereby it affects them directly or the situation is close to them.
  5. Conflict: Conflict as a news value reflects, misunderstanding or disagreement between or among people or institutions. Strife, antagonism and confrontation have been the event of news report from time immemorial.
  6. Currency: Currency as element of news worthiness has to do with freshness of events, occurrence, incidents and happenings. Occasionally, a long standing situation would suddenly become news worthy.
  7. Bizarre/Oddity: This is the experience that deviates from the expectations and experiences of everyday life.  E.g. A pregnant man, a man caught having sex with a goat. It is a news worthiness that has to do with unusualness and abnormality.

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Oluchi Chukwu

Oluchi is a seasoned Information blogger, content developer and the editor of Nigerian Queries. She is a tech enthusiast who loves reading, writing and research

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