What is news?

This is a question I’ve been asked several times in courses in both undergraduate and graduate school, and this course was no different. It’s interesting in a room of journalists that a finite definition can never be reached to answer this question. There are so many different aspects to news and what it means to be newsworthy. I’ve always believed that news can be anything around us as long as one person wants to know about it. Who am I to say that something isn’t news?

I was glad to hear our class discussion about what everyone else thinks of news. It was one of the first times that I’ve noticed people being open to the idea that anything can be news. Often times, news is defined as something that is timely and important and something that is going to affect readers. I think sometimes as journalists, we get caught up in the “big stories” and forget that there are many “little stories” to tell. Everyone wants their name on A1 with the award-winning enterprise story. But we have to remember that our job is to the readers. Our job is to tell them things they don’t know but also give them the information they need and want. And sometimes this comes in the form of something smaller.

There is always something going on in the world around us, and there is always something that is newsworthy to someone. Not everyone wants to know the latest sports scores or what’s happening in politics. Not everyone wants to know about the new bakery opening down the street or about which Girl Scout sold the most cookies. The important thing is that someone wants to know these things. That’s where our job as journalists comes in. We have to do our best to supply readers with the news that is important to them.

I think that’s why it’s so hard to come up with a definition even though we are all surrounded by journalism and news every day. But it’s also the amazing thing about journalism. There is a platform for almost every type of news in the world, and it gives people access to the information they want to know. It makes it possible to consider everything as news.

daniellehinckley