The Role of News in a Society

News is data about current affairs. This can be given through various media: written news, television, radio, photographs, news reports, the presence of satellites or space crafts, and by the spoken testimony of witnesses and observers to events. It is a general term, used in any sphere where the culture, society or people at large share commonalities with other people. The most common form of news is print which is mostly submitted by the print media as material for newsprint or news magazines. It is not only news in print but also news from audio recording or videotape.

It is not an accurate representation of any happening if it is not accompanied by photos, charts, maps, or illustrations. Photos show visually what took place at a certain moment in time. Charts and maps let readers see the progression of events in a more detailed manner than photographs. But there is a common distinction between news and opinion which is, obviously, news being objective while opinions are subjective. When it comes to reporting accidents or other types of incidents that involve human lives, journalists must abide by the law of public duty of care wherein the news media should protect the lives and health of the people they are covering by not publishing news that could cause harm to them.

It is very important that journalists make sure they are not breaking any laws when they obtain any type of newsworthy information from sources that are not government officials or major news agencies. Journalists should also make sure they disclose their sources or at least have the consent of the source in case they plan to discuss it later. When it comes to pictures or videos of any sort, it should always remain in the discretion of the journalist as he or she is the only one who can put these things to memory. There are times when we want the world to see the outcome of our actions and this is the time when news can play a vital role. Keeping readers informed is the basic purpose of news.