Dalam setiap berita biasanya ada cerita di baliknya. Tidak semua cerita itu muncul dalam pemberitaan. Mungkin karena keterbatasan durasi atau halaman bisa juga karena kebijakan editorial.

Oleh sebab itulah dalam berita itu di belakangnya kadang terdapat rahasia yang tidak bisa diberitakan.

Berita sebenarnya bisa lahir dari tangan penulis atau jurnalis bukan semata-mata dari peristiwa. Dalam satu peristiwa setiap jurnalis dan media memiliki cara memberitakan yang berbeda. Kalimat dan sudut pandang juga berbeda meski hadir dalam peristiwa sama. Itulah mengapa berita sudah dikemas dengan berbagai sentuhan termasuk kebijakan editorial dan penyuntingan isinya.

Lalu apa berita yang dimuat di media massa itu ?

Definisi klasik adalah berita adalah semua yang tercetak dalam surat kabar atau media cetak. Juga semua yang ditayangkan dengan audio atau video juga disebut berita. Jadi dalam pandangan ini berita sebenarnya adalah peristiwa yang dilaporkan oleh media massa. Oleh sebab itulah maka setiap media massa memiliki sudut sendiri dalam melaporkan sebuah peristiwa.

Berita tidak semua peristiwa. Ini yang perlu dicamkan oleh seorang jurnalis. Banyak peristiwa yang terjadi tetapi tidak semua menjadi berita. Artinya bahwa banyak peristiwa terjadi setiap hari di sekeliling kita atau di dunia, namun media akan memiliki mana saja yang akan diberitakan dan dilaporkan. Dalam memilih apa yang akan dilaporkan inilah kemudian muncul kemampuan seorang jurnalis dan editor untuk menyaring apa yang layak di dengar, dibaca atau dilihat.

Sebuah definisi tentang berita yang dimuat Media Awarness menyebutkan bahwa:

News has two priorities: it must be current, and it must mean something to people. A story about the environment and a story about the Oscars can both be newsworthy, for different reasons.

Berita itu menyangkut sesuatu yang baru dan berarti bagi sebagian orang.

Sifat current, sedang terjadi merupakan pilar penting dari sebuah berita. Namun arti sedang terjadi bisa juga sebuah peringatan terhadap peristiwa sejarah.

Untuk lebih mendalam saya sertakan sebuah definisi news dari berbagai kalangan versi Newsmanual:

When a dog bites a man that is not news, but when a man bites a dog that is news.
Charles Anderson Dana, American journalist, 1819-1897

News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising.
Lord Northcliffe, British publisher 1865-1922

Well, news is anything that’s interesting, that relates to what’s happening in the world, what’s happening in areas of the culture that would be of interest to your audience.
Kurt Loder, American journalist, b. 1945

Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.
Joseph Pulitzer, American publisher, 1847-1911

News is anything that makes a reader say, `Gee Whiz’!
Arthur MacEwen, American editor,

No one says “Gee Whiz!” very much these days, of course, not even in America — both because that expression has long since been supplanted by others more colourful and less printable, and because our capacity for surprise has long since been dulled by a surfeit of sources.
Shashi Tharoor, Indian writer and diplomat, b. 1956

What you see is news, what you know is background, what you feel is opinion.
Lester Markel, American journalist, 1894-1977

It is hard news that catches readers. Features hold them.
Lord Northcliffe, British publisher 1865-1922

To a journalist, good news is often not news at all.
Phil Donahue, American entertainer, b. 1935

No news is good news.
Ludovic Halevy, French author, 1834-1908

[News is] a first rough draft of history.
Philip L. Graham, American publisher, 1915-1963

For most folks, no news is good news; for the press, good news is not news.
Gloria Borger, American journalist, b. 1952

The real news is bad news.
Marshall Mcluhan, Canadian communications theorist, 1911-1980

News is what a chap who doesn’t care much about anything wants to read. And it’s only news until he’s read it. After that it’s dead.
Evelyn Waugh, British author, 1903-1966

Good stories flow like honey but bad stories stick in the craw [gullet]. What is a bad story? It’s a story that cannot be absorbed in the first time of reading. It’s a story that leaves questions unanswered.
Arthur Christiansen, British newspaper editor, 1904-1963

Hard news really is hard. It sticks not in the craw but in the mind. It has an almost physical effect, causing fear, interest, laughter or shock.
Andrew Marr, British journalist, b. 1959

Never awake me when you have good news to announce, because with good news nothing presses; but when you have bad news, arouse me immediately, for then there is not an instant to be lost.
Napoleon Bonaparte, French Emperor, 1769-1821

Journalism consists largely in saying Lord Jones died to people who never knew Lord Jones was alive.
G.K. Chesterton, British writer, 1874-1936

News reports stand up as people, and people wither into editorials. Clichés walk around on two legs while men are having theirs shot off.
Karl Kraus, Austrian satirist, 1874-1936

A master passion is the love of news.
George Crabbe, British poet, 1754-1832

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