The News Forum is a special Moodle forum for general announcements relating individual courses. One of these is automatically included when you create a new course. By default, only teachers and administrators can post in. Students can only read posts in this forum and won't see see any button to post or reply.
Unlike News Forums, Forum activities in a course are actually interactive. Everyone including students and teachers in the course can post new topics and reply to posts by other people.For more information, see the Moodle Forum FAQ.

By the way, you can rename these forums to whatever suits your needs best. Besides News Forum, I have seen people call it "General Course Announcements", "Course Update" and "Latest News". Which ever term you choose, I recommend that you keep it consistent throughout all of your courses so that your students recognize it for what it is.

Did you know?

  • There is also a News Forum available for the Front Page (Home) as well. It is called "Site News".
  • In the sidebar of a course page, it is possible to add a Latest News block which displays a list of the most recent News Forum announcements to students of the course.