Hard News vs. Soft News

Topics: NEWS, Journalism, Youth Pages: 2 (529 words) Published: September 13, 2010
Hard News Vs. Soft News
News stories are basically divided into two types: hard news and soft news. Hard new generally refers to up-to-the-minute news and events that are reported immediately, while soft news is background information or human-interest stories. Politics, war, economics and crime used to be considered hard news, while arts, entertainment and lifestyles were considered soft news. Hard news

This is the term journalists use to refer to “news of the day.” Hard news is a chronicle of current events/incidents and is the most common news style on the front page of your typical newspaper.
Hard news gives readers the information they need. If the federal government announces a new youth initiative, it’s hard news the next day. Examples of hard news stories include reports on crime, court cases, government announcements, house fires, awards ceremonies, plane crashes, international events, etc. Hard news reporting uses clean and uncluttered writing. It may start with a summary lead that describes what happened, where, when, to/by whom, and why (the journalist's 5 W's). The lead must be brief and simple, and the purpose of the rest of the story is to elaborate on it. Soft News

This is a term for news that is not necessarily time-sensitive. Soft news includes profiles of people, programs, or organizations. Feature stories take a step back from the headlines to explore an issue in depth. Written in the soft news style, they are an effective way to write about complex issues too large for the terse style of a hard news item. A good feature might be about the people in your community and their struggles, victories and defeats, or maybe about a trip someone took to Africa as a part of a school project. A feature usually focuses on a certain angle, explores it through background research and interviews with the people involved, and then draws conclusions from that information. For an example, look at street kids. A hard news story must clinically report the...
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