Rank these stories from the hardest to the softest. Give the hardest a 5, the softest a 1—and explain your reasoning.
A local business man announced plans to open a new bar called “H-2-Oh!” featuring bartenders and waitresses wearing skimpy bikinis and thong swimsuits. A local church group plans to protest at tonight’s city council meeting.
4 This bikini-bar story is of news controversy that can stir up community reaction.
An angry Burger King customer, upset at getting the wrong order, slashed the throat of an employee in the restaurant’s parking lot last night.
5 (the hardest of these stories) It is a breaking news story involving a serious crime—murder.
A dying woman has decided to will her world-famous collection of Barbie dolls—worth nearly $2 million—to the local Humane Society.
Giving nearly $2 million to the local Humane Society will have an influence on humans and pets in the community.
Turkey isn’t just for Thanksgiving anymore. Here are recipes and cooking tips to help you give your family the bird all year long.
1 It is a soft story about cooking tips. The recipes are helpful but not meet the public’s urgent interest.
A line has begun forming at a downtown theater for “Star Wars: Revenge of the Phantom Sith Clones.” The movie doesn’t open for another three weeks, however.
2 It is a soft story, which is timely for the fans of the movie but may have little impact on the lives of ordinary people.
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 is the kind of fast-paced news that usually appears on the front page of newspapers. Stories that fall under the umbrella of hard news often deal with topics like business, politics and international 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.
Soft news means news that does not deal with serious topics or events.