Audiences, on the whole, tend to regard their chosen news source as reliable, as coming from an authoritative, largely impartial perspective. They trust the information they receive as news, and believe it to be "true". This is not necessarily the case, as you will know if you have ever been involved in a news story yourself. As a Media Studies student, you will be asked to appraise the news with a critical eye - you may be surprised at some of the "truths' that you uncover about this very important media form.
News is often identified with the person reporting it - whether that is the journalist writing the story or the one fronting the TV report. However, a great deal of the news is fed from other sources - the journalist is only summarising a wire report, or official statement. News is often supplied to newspapers, radios and TV stations by a news agency. Two of the most famous global agencies are Reuters and Agence France Presse (AFP).
Some agencies concentrate on a particular region or nation, or they may have a distinct ideological slant. Try:
Therefore, those who present the news to us construct it from other sources in the same way that any other media textmaker would. News consists of an artificial narrative, with stories shaped around a beginning, middle and an end. There is also a hierarchy of news - a series of news values that editors and other gatekeepers use in order to decide which news stories to communicate - and in what order.
The basic questions you always need to ask are:
You might also want to ask
For the answer to this last question you need to think about news values.