Yes, you are reading this because you have installed the latest version of the starterkit, so it's not so much news and the thing you already knew.
Many websites have a news section, where they can tell people all about the wonderful things they are doing. and more often than not they need to order the news items in some special ways.
The starter kit orders news items by start and end dates which then just puts the content in that order on the homepage or news listings pages.
quite often you will want some form of promotion or stickyness adding to news items. we have done this sort of things loads of times and no one can ever quite agree on what they want.
Our advice is stick to dates from the majority of it, and have some form of picker on the homepage or news page to push things above the dated stuff.
that way editors can directly add news to the homepage, and see what they have done if you put the stickiness or priority values on the news items you end up with all sorts of confusion over what is actually going to be shown when.