World news is information about current events that affect people all over the globe. It may be delivered through word of mouth, written communication such as letters or newspapers, postal systems, broadcasting, and electronic communication devices like phones and computers. The first written world news appeared in China and Europe in the 1500s, but was not widely published until the invention of the printing press. The early world news contained mostly factual economic reports and public proclamations from government officials, but the introduction of radio and television greatly increased the amount of emotive and freewheeling news coverage.
The majority of world news is produced by major news agencies. They prepare hard news stories and other articles that can be used by other news organizations with little or no modification, and they distribute them in bulk via wire services (originally through telegraphy, but today often over the Internet). Major world news agencies are generally owned by companies with commercial or public interests, but there is also a large number of non-profit and volunteer-run news groups that perform a similar function, including some which specialize in different regions of the world.
Several governments impose restrictions on the editorial content of news programs and newspapers to ensure that they do not promote particular political viewpoints or ideologies. Journalists are expected to report facts without expressing an opinion, although some commentators and analysts provide personal points of view. In addition, many news programs have segments dedicated to promoting certain policies or causes.