Centre for Community Journalism
Writing Human Interest Stories for M&E Page 2 The first step is to determine what to document: success stories or learning stories. In selecting the story type, consider the primary audience for the story. Which type of story will resonate most with this audience? Donors or stakeholders may stipulate which type of story is of most interest to them. Dec 03, · Don’t try to get fancy with your writing. Doing so can make it difficult for people to read your story and can even hide the message you are trying to get across. Use clear, straightforward language, and tell your story from beginning to end. If you are writing something technical, find a way to translate it into more accessible language.
Journalists, by their very nature, are interested in people. We love to catch a glimpse of how the other half live. The power, impact, and importance of the human interest story therefore, which has as its central paradigm the human experience, is a vital ingredient in the success of any publication.
But what is a human interest story? Why are they important and what value do they represent for independent community news publishers? At the heart of any human interest story is people. It is people sharing their unique stories in an emotional and interesting how to quilt a quilt for beginners. Whether it be overcoming adversity, raising awareness, opening up about a condition or experience to help educate others; tales of exceptional human achievement, acts of bravery, unsung heroes, victims, funny stories — the focus is always on the person and their experience.
To this end, the person should always be the central protagonist. She should take centre stage in the telling of her own story, and so the way the story is written is very different from a traditional news story. More on how to write a human interest story below. The benefit of telling a story like this is so the reader can relate to it in an emotional way. A good human interest story will spark anger, empathy, compassion, sympathy, motivation, laughter, fear and love.
Not in equal measure, but if a journalist can tick all these boxes in some way, the story is bound to be a success and likely be shared and highly engaged with. The fundamental objective is to move someone with a story. An earthquake in Honshu province in Japan, registering 9. Yes, we shake our head in shock that so many people could be wiped out of existence, but we very quickly get on with our lives; we move swiftly onto the next news cycle.
However, when a young survivor is pulled from the crumbled wreckage of a school three days after the final tremours have been felt, our ability to relate to the situation grows.
It could be our daughter. Our niece. One of our students. This personal, and very intimate angle, allows readers to engage with the content, to feel something. If the story is sad, you want your reader to feel sad. If it is happy, you want them to feel happy. A good human interest story breaks down barriers, allows people to form connections with the story through emotions.
A good human interest story should be thought provoking, should incite debate, should pull at the heartstrings. But why would you go to the extra effort of producing a word soft feature on your local find what cms a site is using who hosts a weekly get together of adult fans of My Little Pony?
Simply put, this kind of content is hugely shareable and very easy to engage with, directing much-wanted traffic back to your website. In short, the national press has a keen eye how to write a human interest story a large purse what is the best desktop to buy stories like this, and knowing how to get your story in front of the right pair of keen eyes can be invaluable.
When it comes to writing human interest stories, there is much more scope for creativity. Some journalists who work on news exclusively have difficulty delaying an intro, dropping the lead to the third, fourth, or in some cases, the fifth how to write a human interest story six pars. But for human interest stories, much more is required of the language and style to tempt the reader to stay with the piece.
So the use of emotive language is essential. In most examples of how to win at slotomania on facebook interest stories, facts and data sit pillion to the emotional aspects.
Only that this information is secondary to the overall feel of the piece you are writing. Instead, write an intro that draws the reader in emotionally. Experiment with language. Use puns, alliteration, assonance. Be creative. At the same time, however, a human interest story should be quote heavy. Let the case study tell her own story. Let her describe what happened in her own voice, in her own words. The key is to remain balanced. However, if the story tends to be extremely sensitive, strive for neutrality.
Nobody benefits from an ill-placed epithet or a poorly-judged idiom. Let us know if you have anything to add to this resource. Linda Quinn, editor of the Brixton Blog and Bugle, who died…. The Centre how to write a human interest story Community Journalism does not share, sell, distribute or in any way pass on your data to any third parties.
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By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here. Centre for Community Journalism. What is a Human Interest Story? Why is the Human Interest story important? Where is the value? Writing a Human Interest story When it comes to how to write a human interest story human interest stories, there is much more scope for creativity.
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Ideation phase of Story writing
Be creative. Write what Steinbeck called ‘ hooptedoodle ’: filler copy that sets the scene, describes the weather or what someone is wearing, depicts their facial expressions when they talk. Don’t be afraid to write copy that sings a little. At the same time, however, a human interest story should be quote heavy. Writing Human Interest Stories for M&E Page 2 Step 1 Select the Right Type of Human Interest Story. The first step is to hfi. determine what to document: success stories or learning stories. In selecting the. story type, consider the primary audience for the story. Which type of story will resonate most with this audience? Jun 10, · Craft and write the story well. Jargon should be used but only when relevant to the article. If not, it will be a complete let down! Make the article as clear and to-the-point as possible. Avoid extra explanations, when not necessary; it just stretches the article! The article should be a part of.
Last Updated: August 12, References. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed , times. Learn more News reporters may be asked to occasionally write a human interest story. These "soft news" pieces feature stories about events or issues that get people's interest in a general way. Such stories take a break from the harder, fact based news material to highlight something light or emotionally poignant.
Writing a successful human interest piece requires planning and intentional language to manage the perception of the reader and to guide the emotional responses of the audience. Log in Social login does not work in incognito and private browsers. Please log in with your username or email to continue.
Is your story a motivational tale? Determine the purpose of your piece. Identify what you aim to accomplish through writing your story. You may want to create sympathy for a person that has experienced a tragedy.
You may want to bring attention to a subject of importance. There may be an organization that is viewed in an incorrect light and you hope to shift perceptions of it. Be aware of the objections to human interest journalism. Human interest journalism is not without its detractors. Because of its emphasis on emotion instead of facts, many people believe that human interest stories are manipulative in nature.
Identify common complaints about bad human interest journalism to avoid falling into the same mistakes. Do not misrepresent the person you focus your story on or other people involved. Base your narrative on real events and the truth of what occurred, instead of what would make for a good story. While you may be creating your piece in support of a certain cause or organization, avoid language that depicts a clear bias. Part 2 of Begin with background information.
The first part of quality research is gathering the necessary background information. Background information will provide you with important elements of your story such as who was involved and when it occurred.
It can also provide a the broader scope of why your story matters. Evaluate sources you find online for credibility. Edu, or. Gov are often more credible than those that end with. Com or other common suffixes.
Look at the author of the content when provided. Search that author or read the provided biographical information and make a judgement regarding their credibility based on the level of expertise they have indicated.
Look for signs of a bias in the material you find online, as well as reasons to believe the content is not accurate or legitimate. Interview possible sources. There are four traditional elements to conducting a successful journalistic interview. Each step is intended to help you gain important pieces of information from someone while treating them with respect and maintaining your journalistic integrity.
Interviewing the person the article is about is usually a necessity, but consider interviewing others involved as well.
Establish a rapport with the interviewee to put them at ease. Treat them with respect and try to find elements you have in common for the sake of conversation. Ask relevant questions and be direct. Your questions should provide an opportunity to elaborate, so avoid simply asking yes or no questions. Listen attentively. Pay attention to body language and record everything said. You may want to use an audio or video recording device to keep a record of the conversation, but ensure you are given permission first.
Remain objective. Although human interest pieces are often started with an idea for a story, you must not allow that idea to affect the way you conduct your research. Instead, conduct good research and let that inform how you write the piece. Let the research determine what is accurate and true, not your opinions or beliefs. Analyze the data you collect. Once you have all of your research gathered, go back through all of it to put together a coherent account of the important events and people in your story.
Check your research and interviews against one another to identify trends or inconsistencies that may need further research. If some of your research contradicts other information, you may need to conduct further research to verify the accuracy of previous statements. You may need to make a judgement call at times. When research is contradictory, use the information that seems most reliable and accurate.
Part 3 of Utilize the appropriate framework. The body of the piece is where the real story telling takes place. The conclusion often serves as the emotional punch, or as a culmination of the emotional story elements. An example could be a mother being reunited with her daughter after a story about her efforts to find her after a natural disaster.
Write a compelling lead. The lead of your story is what will compel readers to stick with your story. It should summarize your story briefly, giving the reader an idea of what to expect throughout the rest of the piece. An example may be starting with a story about a person who fights wildfires and the difficulty of the job in a human interest piece about the dangers of the drought in Southern California.
Your lead should be no longer than two paragraphs in length. Choose your words carefully. While your human interest piece may take place in a technical environment or a work culture that utilizes specific jargon, avoid using that language in your piece. Using words that are too specific to a group of people can alienate readers. A military story, for instance, may require the use of ranks, but some ranks may be difficult to understand and appreciate for readers.
Try to relate difficult terms to everyday things. Use descriptive language. A human interest piece is not about simply recounting facts in a dry manner. Instead, human interest stories can provide a journalist with an opportunity to utilize descriptive language that may not be common in their usual news reporting. Was visibility low? Depending on the location, night time can be extremely dark and foreboding, or it may be a well-lit city street. Descriptive language can transport a reader to the scene.
Create a mood. Because human interest stories are intended to convey feeling as much as information, they allow for terms that help establish the tone in the mind of the reader. While a traditional news story may simply state that a soldier defused a car bomb, a human interest piece may attribute characteristics to the solider such as brave or courageous. If you are writing the tragic story of a man who lost his wife in an accident, you may want to discuss them being happy together early on, then the events that separated them, and finally the emotional fallout he experienced after the loss.
Part 4 of Assess how newsworthy your story is. A human interest story does not have to adhere to all of the traditional news story rules, but in order to be printed it still needs to be newsworthy in a general sense. While a traditional news story takes into account timing, significance, proximity and prominence to determine newsworthiness, a human interest story has a bit more leeway in each.