All big newspapers are, in essence, compilations of news. In order to discover these pieces of news, they need a large number of reporters and correspondents, and the services of national and international information agencies.
News is – according to one definition – everything that the public is interested in knowing.
Many things happen every day, and not all of those things are equally interesting to all readers. The best pieces of news are those that appeal to the largest number of people. But, selecting news items is the job of the newspaper’s director or editor. It’s the writer’s job to present the items in the most proper manner, trying to get the reader to understand them easily.
All information, to be complete, has to clearly answer these six basic questions:
- What? What happened, the main event that created the information.
- Who? The person or people who are the subjects of the information or who have, in one way or another, become involved in it.
- How? The way in which the event happened.
- Where? The place where it all took place.
- When? At this point, precision depends on the nature of the fact. If we’re talking about an earthquake, we need to state the exact time that it happened. It’s not the same when there’s a governmental crisis or the spread of an illness affecting animals.
- Why? The cause or reason for what happened.
The writer answers all of these questions, and he usually does it in a decreasing order of importance, which can vary according to the case.