An Internet utility that allows users to download (notionally, "read") "articles" posted to "newsgroups" by other users interested in the topic the newsgroup was formed to discuss. Also called "Usenet". The newsgroup sci.lang, for example, is dedicated to discussing the science of language. To read news, you need a news client like trn and access to a news server, such as those established at most universities.
A distributed conferencing service composed of a huge collection of discussion groups, both moderated and unmoderated. News originated as a service of USENET (Users' network), a global cooperative network of participating computers. News is now distributed to most Internet sites, including Penn. The news system allows each user to access articles from a single server at his or her site, thus avoiding the cost of storing redundant copies of articles. Users can post articles for distribution at their local site, within their region, or worldwide. News groups exist for literally thousands of topics.