C-News stores its configuration files in /usr/lib/news, and most of its binaries in the /usr/lib/news/bin directory. Articles are kept below /var/spool/news. You should make sure virtually all files in these directories are owned by user news, group news. Most problems arise from files being inaccessible to C-News. Make it a rule for you to become user news using su before you touch anything in there. The only exceptions is setnewsids, which is used to set the real user id of some news programs. It must be owned by root and must have the setuid bit set.
In the following, we describe all C-News configuration files in detail, and show you what you have to do to keep your site running.