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Types of News Stories

It is important to distinguish the various types of news stories because the term news is very broad. In categorizing news, we have to consider news value and standards of conduct.

News story
attempts to answer all the basic questions

about any particular event in the first two or three paragraphs

Who? What? When? Where? and Why? and occasionally How? ("5 W's").

Lead and body Ends when the writer runs out of material

Inverted Pyramid
top-loading the essential and most interesting elements of a story, with supporting information following in order of lesser importance. Developed during the civil war to insure the main facts of the story would not be lost during communication by telegraph. Lead and body

Inverted Pyramid cont.

Hard News
Hard News includes two concepts: Seriousness: Politics, economics, crime, war, and disasters are considered serious topics, as are certain aspects of law, science, and technology. Timeliness: Stories that cover current events the progress of a war, the results of a vote, the breaking out of a fire, a significant public statement, the freeing of a prisoner, an economic report of note, etc.

Soft News
soft news is sometimes referred to in a

derogatory fashion as infotainment and includes two concepts:

The least serious subjects: Arts and entertainment, sports, lifestyles, "human interest", and celebrities. Not timely: There is no precipitating event triggering the story, other than a reporter's curiosity.

Timely events happen in less serious subjectssporting matches, celebrity misadventures, movie releases, art exhibits, and so on.

Hard or Soft?
Gardening tips and hobby "news"
Warnings about natural disasters domestic security threats

A medical story about a new treatment for

breast cancer Owen Wilsons suicide attempt Sports statistics and game results Investigative reporting (muckrakers)?

Feature Story
article in a newspaper, a magazine, or a

news website that is not meant to report breaking news, but to take an in-depth look at a subject. Less urgent, attempts to engage reader Narrative structure (beginning, middle, end),expands on details Longer in length, includes personal perspective Entertaining, often include pictures Hard or Soft?

Feature story cont.


Needs a neat ending that wraps up the

story (conclusion)

Editorial
Short, persuasive essay which usually

contains the writers opinion or reaction to a timely news story or event. Influence readers to think or act a certain way Written to either inform, promote, praise, or entertain

Column
Personal observations by the writer

about a certain subject Includes facts and states a conclusion Written on almost anything