Each and every day we have the opportunity to learn about events that unfold in our nation while we sleep. With technology acting as the superhighway for information, we can learn within seconds what has happened on the other side of the country. And it doesn’t take long before we see a story grow and change in our newsfeeds, on television, in the newspaper, and on the radio. Through these various news mediums, we discover the good, the bad, and the ugly that unfolds in every corner of the United States. When we learn about an event that influences the majority of the population in the U.S., we are experiencing national news: News that relates to, affects, or interests the majority of the people in our country. Sometimes the stories are “hard” news stories and are of widespread importance. Other stories are “soft,” and may interest Americans because of a human interest edge or bizarre twist.
Where does the news come from? Reporters and journalists deliver stories every day that develop locally, regionally, nationally, and worldwide. With news agencies all over the globe, correspondents can quickly and easily gather facts and other information, sharing them with different news outlets if necessary. In conjunction, The Associated Press, an American multinational non-profit cooperative of news organizations located in New York City, also keeps the nation up to date. The Associated Press is comprised of roughly 1,400 U.S. newspapers and broadcasters that make content available to it’s members for broadcast or publication.
What does a national news story look like? A prime example of a national news story is the story of Elizabeth Smart, the 14-year-old girl that was kidnapped from her Utah home in 2002 and rescued nine moths later. Her story of abuse made national headlines and still does today, as the now activist and news contributor for sexual predator legislation and other child protection acts continues her advocacy. It isn’t unusual for national stories to make world headlines, too. Elizabeth Smart’s story did, but is still considered a national news story because it happened with the borders of the United States.
Why is national news important? Being aware of general, political, health, and other news stories throughout our country can only serve us as we navigate our day to day lives. When we are made aware of potential dangers, we can take measures to avoid those dangers from affecting us directly. Good news can also help us make decisions that benefit us. The idea of gathering news to serve the greater good began sometime in the 15th century. Once handwritten, newspapers sometimes once took months to reach the people. Today we can find national headlines within seconds with just a click of a mouse.