Tuesday, April 9, 2019

A to Z Challenge - H for Human interest stories

Theme - Journalism jargons
There is hard news and soft news. The first one refers to ‘important’, headline-grabbing news. The latter refers to ‘interesting’ news, not necessarily important.

Typical hard news items are the election of a president or a prime minister, a major accident, a government policy decision, etc. Usually, such events have wide political or social or economic ramifications; and/or have an impact on a large number of people.

Examples of soft news items could be how an Olympic gold medalist had won a university admission for a computer science programme but opted out in favour of training full time for sports; or how scores of local residents were the first respondents at the site of an accident; or how adoption of solar energy is saving a town conventional energy resources.

HUMAN EMOTIONS

It’s the hard news that usually “break” on TV news channels. These reports are driven by hard facts, and there isn’t much scope to use very colourful language. Hard news items can’t be missed by news publications, and they have a short shelf life, meaning they get outdated too soon.

Some soft news items are referred to as 'human interest stories' since they speak of human emotions and appeal to readers. Though they could be important, they are more interesting, and there is no urgency to broadcast or publish such news items. They are usually secondary to or appear alongside the main news item.

ADJECTIVES, ADVERBS

Reporters who write human interest stories tend to use fanciful expressions, adjectives and adverbs. On the page, such articles lend themselves to colourful designs and other visual elements like illustrations or graphs and charts if the story has a lot of data.

Some human interest stories, depending on the subject, have a longer shelf life, meaning such stories can wait, and they will still make sense even if they are carried a day or two later.

The daily newspapers usually have more hard news, especially on the front page. Soft news items are the staple of magazines.

(This post is a part of the "Blogging from A to Z Challenge April 2019".)

10 comments:

  1. And yet most of us are probably more interested in the "soft" news stories. I am.

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    1. Hi Liz - Especially when we are getting hard news on the go, all round the clock.

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  2. I'm impressed by your theme. Every post is so thorough and intriguing. Thank you for sharing. I never heard the term 'gutter' before. Interesting!

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    1. Thank you, Darla. I am glad that you enjoy reading my posts.

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  3. I've read somewhere that TV news leads with the 'hard' stories and ends with a 'soft' feel-good story. Don't know if that applies to newspapers as well?

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  4. @Nilanjana - You are right. Well, newspapers tend to have the hard stories on top of the page, and soft stories at the bottom of the page. The supplements, which come with the main paper, are fully made of soft stories.

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  5. Hard news is information where as soft news mostly canvasses empathy. Good information, Pradeep.

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  6. You are right,hard news are dinned into our ears day and night.

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