The news is the current state of events and affairs affecting people locally, nationally and internationally. Throughout history, news has been transmitted by word of mouth and later by print and broadcast media. Today, the Internet has increased the speed and reach of news dissemination. The role of the press has also evolved as many countries now have their own TV and radio networks with large audiences. News is about what is happening right now, but it is also about what has happened in the past and what might happen in the future.
1. Informing the Public
One of the most important functions of the press is to keep people informed of what is happening in their localities, countries and the world at large. This is accomplished by reporting on events, providing analysis and interpretation of those events and ensuring that those in power are held accountable for their actions.
2. Educating and Explaining
The press helps educate the public by disseminating information about various subjects including science, politics, economics, health and culture. It provides background information, expert opinions and different perspectives to help people make sense of complex issues. It also plays a critical role in holding government and businesses accountable by reporting on corruption and scandals.
3. Holding Governments and Businesses Accountable
The news media is an important part of a democracy because it holds governments and businesses accountable by reporting on their unethical behaviour. It also provides a forum for discussing and debating issues that affect the people.
4. Creating Interest
News is interesting if it is new and if it has an element of conflict or drama. It is also interesting if it shocks or arouses emotions. It is often a mixture of all these factors that makes something newsworthy.
5. Predicting What Will Happen
Some experts have argued that the press anticipates what the public wants to hear, but this view is controversial. It is difficult to measure what people want to hear, and market research is not always reliable. It is also questionable whether the mass media should be allowed to dictate what constitutes news.
6. Providing Perspective
The news is a vital source of perspective for the public, as it allows them to compare their own experiences and views with those of others in the community, country and the world at large. It is this comparative viewpoint that can help to make sense of complex and confusing issues.
7. Conclusion: As well as informing, entertaining and educating the public, news also serves a commercial function. Advertisers pay for placement of their messages in the context of a news story because it increases their audience and, as a result, their potential to sell products or services. Therefore, the news is a highly valued commodity. Moreover, it is also a source of identity for many people and is a major source of pride for some societies. The most popular sources of news are television, radio and newspapers.