An Explanation of the Different Purposes of News

News is the information about recent events. This can be given through a variety of media: verbal communication, print, broadcasting, postal systems, television, or by the oral testimony of witnesses and observers to recent events. In popular usage, the term news is used to refer to any newsworthy event that has news value. News is thus generally understood to pertain to any event that has created a public reaction. The news has a number of purposes and categories, some of which are discussed below.

In ancient times, the news was circulated by way of oral communication in communities such as the village elders. Oral news had the advantage of being unbiased and easy to verify, since it could only be passed on from one individual to another. Over time, newspaper news proved to be unreliable because of the rapid circulation of printed material, and was less well-researched and fact-checked than the news that went orally around the community. As a result, much of the original newsprint that was not significant enough to warrant reporting became lost or abandoned.

With the advent of new media, such as the television, news became largely visual, with its first substantial impact appearing in the early 20th century. Visual news spread its popularity rapidly, and now almost every major newspaper and magazine carry some type of news report. While the vast majority of news events are reported accurately and fairly, there are still inaccuracies and omissions that are allowed because of time constraints, a deadline, or some other practical reason.