Hard News Vs. Soft News

July 15, 2008 at 2:57 am 6 comments

Taken from Media Awareness Network:

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.

But increasingly, the lines are beginning to blur. Is a story about the private life of a politician “politics” or “entertainment”? Is an article about the importance of investing early for retirement a “business” story or a “lifestyle” story? Judging solely on subject matter, it can be difficult to tell.

One difference between hard and soft news is the tone of presentation. A hard news story takes a factual approach: What happened? Who was involved? Where and when did it happen? Why?

A soft news story tries instead to entertain or advise the reader. You may have come across newspaper or TV stories that promise “news you can use.” Examples might be tips on how to stretch properly before exercising, or what to look for when buying a new computer.

Knowing the difference between hard and soft news helps you develop a sense of how news is covered, and what sorts of stories different news media tend to publish or broadcast. This can be important when you want to write articles or influence the media yourself.

© 2008 Media Awareness Network

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The Pinky Show Writing Your Lede

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ronny Mustamu  |  July 15, 2008 at 3:44 am

    Good foundation for journalism and journalist to be.

    Reply
  • 2. abovetherim888  |  July 16, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    When watching this I must agree with Cindy Sheehan’s supporter, a former talk show host, Phil Donahue. He believes that there shouldnt be troops in Iraq at this time as do I. He says that war is not fair to the American Troops and he also believes that its unconsitutional. Our troops have been there for way to long and they should be sent home. I believe that Oreilly is wrong because so many troops have been killed and he wants to send more there? I dont approve…

    Reply
  • 3. labellaviitta  |  July 17, 2008 at 6:10 am

    I dont think any more troops should be sent….oreilly is too much…way too many people have given their lives for a war that we dont even know why we are fighting anymore

    Reply
  • 4. Laura  |  October 29, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    A very useful article for me as a Communications student. Thank you!

    Reply
  • 5. viashnuprasadu  |  July 2, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    this was quite relevent information for me as a am communication student …. thank you very much

    Reply
  • 6. Sellina Nkowani  |  July 23, 2011 at 9:07 am

    I find this very useful. I am actually in the middle of writing my assign on the differences between hard news and soft news. Thanks!

    Reply

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