you’ve specified a meta key, but not a value
$new_args = [ 'post_type' => 'news', 'post_status' => 'publish', 'fields' => 'ids', 'posts_per_page' => '5', 'meta_key' => 'is_featured', 'meta_value' => '1', 'orderby' => 'meta_value_num', // not sure that this does 'order' => 'desc' ]; $news = new WP_Query($new_args);
Either that or you need to use a meta_query parameter. https://codex.wordpress.org/Class_Reference/WP_Query#Custom_Field_Parameters. You need to test for the value and you need to test that the value exists. See the “compare” argument.
'meta_query' => array( array( 'key' => 'is_featured', 'compare' => 'EXISTS' ), array( 'key' => 'is_featured', 'value' => '1' ), ),
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