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What is News

             An elderly woman trips on her way out of the grocery store landing on her head to her death. To others, she was just an old lady who was going to die sooner or later, and they really do not care. Many people have different ideas of what news is. George Frajkor, a retired journalism professor from Carelton University in Ottawa, Ontario, said, "What is news is whatever and editor decides is news."" The executive news producer of CBC News Online in Toronto, Ken Wolff, said, "I'm not sure I'll answer what news is. I'll try to answer what a story is, because I think news is basically story-telling."" Pierre Bourque, producer of Bourque Newswatch, offers a third opinion of what news is. He says, "News is entertainment: it's the dissemination and the currency of fact and fiction."" It is reasonable to conclude that news is a difficult thing to define.
             Webster's dictionary provides a general definition of news as "recent events and happenings, especially those that are notable or unusual."" Other dictionaries support the definition provided by Webster. The Random House dictionary defines news as "a report of a current event."" The American Heritage Dictionary also concludes that news is "recent events and happenings."" The common meaning of news between all of these definitions is recent or current events. Generally speaking, news is recent events.
             Journalism students are generally taught that news is timely, important and interesting information about things that are happening in the world around them. A more specific meaning of news cannot be derived from one particular source, definition, or even a journalism class. The specific meaning is ever-changing and controversial. Webster supports this thought in his second definition of news, "Information about recent events of general interest, especially as reported by the print and broadcast media."" What is of general interest? Depending on what is perceived as general interest the definition of news can vary.

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