The news – newspapers, magazines, TV news, and websites, is a major part of many people’s lives. Most people check some sort of news outlet each day. However, recently a backlash against the news has been growing. More people are seeing the news as biased and untrustworthy. There are those that advocate for ignoring the news entirely. However, the news is actually really important, and there are several key reasons why…
1. The News Tells People What Is Happening In The World
A first reason why the news is important is because it informs people about what is happening in the world.
The news chronicles the events of the day. It also provides an overview of longer-term trends that are happening globally. People consume the news because they want to learn about what is happening. All news outlets combine a mixture of national and international news. There are also local newspapers, websites, and TV channels, that focus on events in a town, city, or district.
Probably the biggest reason why the news is important is because people can find out what is going on. Without the news, people would only be able to find out what was happening by asking people who had first-hand knowledge. This would massively reduce the information people would have about the world around them.
The fact the news allows people to get up-to-date accounts of recent events is a major reason why it is important.
Having more people informed about what is happening in the world, as well as locally and nationally, is inherently a good thing. The news educates people about key events, as well as ongoing trends. The news gives people information on vital areas, including on political and economic developments, cultural happens and lifestyle advice. These are all reasons why the news is important.
2. It Allows People To Adapt To Global Changes
A second reason why the news is important is because is allows people to adapt to changes that are happening globally.
The news provides a regular update on what is happening. Almost all news outlets cover events that are local, national, and international. It is important to consume the news so that people are aware of what is going on. This allows them to make informed choices in their lives with knowledge about major events.
People need to know what is going on in the world, outside the events they directly experience or learn about from people they know. Without the news, people would only learn about local events that their community had knowledge of. The news is vital as it pools information gathered from people who experience events first hand, as well as journalists, to provide others all over the world with up-to-date information on the affairs of the day.
Many important decisions in people’s lives are informed by their knowledge of what has happened. They know what has happened because they learn about it from the news. Decisions on everything from politics, economics and commerce, trade, businesses management and lifestyle choices such as where to live or which companies to patronise are all made with information gathered from the news. This is also why the news is so important.
3. It Gives People Multiple Perspectives On Events
A third reason why reading and watching the news is important is because it provides people with multiple perspectives on events.
All major events are covered by big news outlets. Many people complain that news broadcasters and newspapers are biased. However, in many countries, there is competition within the news media market. This means that people can go to different news sources to get different perspectives on what is happening.
As well as there being many different news outlets that people can use to get different views on local, national, and international events, many countries, such as the United Kingdom, have laws that state news outlets must present an unbiased argument. This means that news outlets must cover a story from multiple angels, or at least provide a non-biased viewpoint. Laws such as these add to the importance of the news.
The fact that the news allows people to get different views on what is happening is a major reason why it is so vital. Without the news industry, people would learn about events only within their community, and would be unlikely to be able to source different accounts, reasons, or understandings of how events took place and why they happened. This would significantly weaken people’s ability to make informed decisions.
4. The News Helps To Hold Those In Power To Account
Another reason why the news is important is because it helps to hold those in power to account.
A free and open press is a key foundation of a democratic society. Allowing newspapers to print and broadcasters to say what is happening, and provide opinion, free from interference is vital for holding powerful institutions to account. This is a major reason why the news is important.
Powerful organizations – including political bodies, governments, businesses, and charity organisations, need to be transparent and to work for the benefit of the people they serve. A key way these institutions are held to account is by the news media. Journalists can critique their actions, as well as investigate their doings. Uncovering things politicians, businesses and non-profits have done and exposing them to the wider public is one of the vital things that a free press allows for.
Without the news, or with a media that is controlled or interfered with by the state, governments and businesses are much less accountable. This means they are less likely to work in the genuine interests of the people they should serve and are more likely to work for the benefit of a smaller elite. This is a massive determent to a society.
News media, including a free and open press, is a key way those in power are held accountable. This is why it is so important.
5. It Provides Expert Analysis Of World Events
A major reason why the news is important is because it provides an analysis of world events.
News outlets hire journalists with a range of expertise. As well as general correspondents that report on daily affairs, they often have journalists that specialise in specific areas. Everything from politics to economics, healthcare to transport usually has a dedicated journalist who is an expert on the affairs of that sector. Bigger newspapers, news broadcasters and websites can have large teams dedicated to specific areas. The role of journalists, and especially ones with expertise in specific areas, is to provide context, analysis and commendatory on events. This makes the news highly important.
The news provides a crucial analysis of events, their causes, impacts and how they relate to other historical and contemporary events. This goes above simply providing an account of what is happening in the world.
The in-depth analysis that news outlets provide helps to inform people not only about ongoing affairs, but also their wider context. This a one of the most vital things the news does.
6. The News Acts As A Historical Record
A final reason why the news is important is because it acts as a historical record.
Newspapers and TV news, as well as online news sources, provide an ongoing account of what is happening in the world. However, they also act as a record of what has happened in the past. Historians, researchers, academics, and students can use news sources as ways to find out about events that have come before. This is a key reason why the news is important.
As well as providing an overview of what happened in the past, news sources also provide commentary on events that historians can use to see how people at the time understood and communicated what was happening.
Newspapers began to be circulated widely in many countries in the 19th Century. TV news goes back to the early 20th Century. Historians researching these periods often rely heavily on the news sources of the time. Even before the introduction of mass news media, new sources including proclamations, announcements, letters, and speeches are used by researchers to see how people throughout history have interpreted the events that they lived through.
The main function of the news is to provide people with an account of contemporary events. However, by creating an ongoing record of local, national, and international events, the news is also a valuable source for those researching events of the past. This is a major factor in why it is so important.