So years ago I did a journalism course and one of the early lessons in news reporting was just an exercise in trying to collectively define news. It was a pretty heavily-directed effort, and I think it had to be, because like many other things that we’re so used to in our everyday lives, it’s weirdly difficult to explain to people. Anyway, I’m cleaning up my flat and I find the definition that we came up with on a piece of notepaper, and I’m looking at it and I’m thinking: “This is actually quite interesting – and possibly quite useful for people who are setting up subject-based weblogs”. So here it is:
“New information of significance, interest or relevance which affects the lives or interests of a particular group of readers / listeners / viewers”
It’s not perfect by any means, but it gives you some places to start when you’re thinking about what to write. Know your audience, make sure you’re giving them information, and make sure that the information is actually going to matter to them. It’s not exactly revelatory information, but I figured someone out there might find it useful. And now I’ve transcribed it onto the net, it means that I can throw away the piece of paper!