The News forum is special – only a course instructor can post to this discussion.
Everyone should be getting some notification that there is new news – in the right navigation menu – Latest news, via email if you have that set up in your profile, tracking notification if you have that turned on, and of course, as an entry in the News forum.
As the instructor, I have forced everyone to subscribe to the News forum. I usually force students to subscribe initially, but allow them to unsubscribe later if they wish.
If you use discussions a lot, students may complain about the large number of messages they get. This is a perfect opportunity for a “teaching moment” – managing information and communication in an online environment.