In journalism, a human-interest story is a feature story that discusses a person, or people, or a pet in an emotional way. It presents people and their problems, concerns, or achievements in a way that brings about interest, sympathy or motivation in the reader or viewer. Human-interest stories are a type of soft news.
Human-interest stories may be "the story behind the story" about an event, organization, or otherwise faceless historical happening, such as about the life of an individual soldier during wartime, an interview with a survivor of a natural disaster, a random act of kindness, or profile of someone known for a career achievement. A study published in the American Behavioral Scientist illustrates that human-interest stories are furthermore often used in the news coverage of irregular immigration, although the frequency differs from country to country. Human-interest features are frequently evergreen content, easily recorded well in advance and/or rerun during holidays or slow news days.
Human-interest stories are sometimes criticized as "soft" news, or manipulative, sensationalistic programming. Major human-interest stories are presented with a view to entertain the readers or viewers while informing them. Although this could be considered a strategy, it has been referenced[by whom?] as a successful method of persuasion. Terry Morris, an early proponent of the genre, said she took "considerable license with the facts that are given to me."
- Miller, Laura (October 16, 2011). "'Sybil Exposed': Memory, lies and therapy". Salon. Salon Media Group. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
- Granato, Len (2002). Newspaper Feature Writing. UNSW Press. p. 3. ISBN 9780868404530.
- Tine Ustad Figenschou & Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud, "Faces of an Invisible Population: Human Interest Framing of Irregular Immigration News in the United States, France, and Norway", "SAGE Publisher", 19/06/2015. Retrieved 05/10/2015.
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