News stories or articles have certain "rules" that govern their format. New stories give mostly factual information, but not the writer's opinion. News stories are written in third person voice, never first or second.
For all intents and purposes, this is true.
The government does not own any major news outlets, and the Constitution specifically protects journalists from being unfairly silenced. However, with the rise of the Internet, cable news, and the hour news cycle, the press could have more to worry about than an oppressive government.
The rise of outrageous, false, critical, and sensational journalism shows that the clamor for profit and ratings can pose as much if not more of a threat to the existence of quality hard news than government interference. Soft news and critical journalism penetrate newspapers, news magazines, and network and local newscasts.
Though once regarded as a quick fix to fallen ratings due to heavy competition, these two news vices could cause the breakdown of the once superior American press.
With competition for audiences among news outlets on the rise, soft news and critical journalism have begun to overpower the news. Though successful at first at attracting viewers, sensationalism and criticism have caused Americans to become disenchanted with the news and thus their main source of information about politics.
In turn, Americans are ill-informed, and become apathetic if not hostile toward their government and their press. The news needs to incorporate a balance of soft news and hard news into every production to preserve not only their audience, but democracy as well.
Though not always the most pleasant news, hard news should not be confused with critical journalism. Critical journalism tends to be a more negative version of soft news.
It is characterized by journalists who will stop at nothing to expose scandal, deceit, and mistakes in government. Usually less political in content than critical journalism, soft news aims more to entertain.
Human interest stories and special news features make up soft news. Without it, the news would be dry, boring and completely devoid of feeling. However, over the past two decades, soft news and overly critical journalism have begun to dominate hard news.
In the print media, for example, Thomas Patterson of Harvard University reports that even the vocabulary of news has changed. Thus, print media has become softer in recent years. TV news succumbs to the soft news and critical journalism trend as well, perhaps the most of any media.
An example of critical journalism is the coverage of crime in local TV news broadcasts. Although violent crime has declined in the past few years, it is sensationalized and hugely overrepresented in the daily news. In the real world, only about. If not focused on violent crime, many news programs devote large shares of their time slot to soft news.
This new format may have helped NBC to become the ratings leader at one point, but soft news strategies have not always succeeded, and appear to be faltering now. Soft news and critical journalism defenders say that the news must incorporate these features to attract viewers.
After all, without an audience to financially support it, the free press would not survive. When news audiences began to decline a decade ago, news makers felt the solution would be to incorporate more soft news into their programs Patterson, 2.
In the effort to appeal to audiences, stay competitive with other outlets of news, and make a profit, the news incorporated more human interest stories and more sensationalism.
The hour news cycle, the Internet, and cable news fostered competition between news outlets that caused a general panic and subsequent reliance on sensationalism and negativity to keep audiences.
However, the market does not explain critical journalism completely. Although profit-seeking plays a large part in the continuation of soft news, the government scandals of the past few decades may hold some blame for a more critical press.
However, contrary to what the news outlets think Americans want, evidence suggests that Americans are fed up with negative critical journalism and soft news. This is due to the fact that many Americans tend to believe the news has declined in quality Patterson, 6.
Clearly, soft news is not as fool-proof and appealing as previously believed. Patterson argues that Americans watch news for its hard content, not soft.
He also claims that those people who prefer hard news are the bigger consumers of news. Critical journalism is also declining in popularity. What Does this Mean for Politics?
The press and politics are inextricably linked. Aside from causing apathy, the news can also cause the public to lose faith in its government.
Soft and critical news interrupt the delicate political information system that exists in the United States. We use the political information system to collectively process information, synthesize it and then use it to make decisions McCurry, 2.They will analyze structure and content of different types of news—hard news, feature stories, editorials, sports writing and self-help columns and use those structures as models for their own writing.
How do you write a short story? How is writing a short story different than writing a novel? It will be hard to let go of your short story, but you can’t get published if you don’t submit.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Write and Submit a Short Story. For a more complete guide to writing and submitting a short story. The lead is one of the basic building blocks of writing, and now more than ever, freelancers need to know how to write a lead if they want to land work. A lead is your first chance to hook someone into clicking through and reading your entire story.
To write an article, a story, a blog or a feature, one does not have to follow the news-story format all the time. For a piece of writing that is to be presented in a non-news style, the general rule of thumb is to apply the basics of a soft news article.
The traditional hard news lede includes the “Five W’s” — who, what, when, where, why — and sometimes “how.” It gives the basics of the story even if the .
At the heart of all feature stories is human interest. This lesson asks students to write a profile of a classmate, with a particular focus on a talent, interest, or passion of that classmate.
As an introduction to the feature article, students compare the characteristics of a hard news story to.