Difference between hard news and soft news (video)

This is a short lecture on the two major categories of news – Hard and soft news. The lecture also uses examples to explain how you can easily identify hard news and soft news in any newspaper, magazine or broadcast medium. Contents of the lecture have been packaged in a short video which you could listen to at any moment. The beauty of lecture videos is that you could listen to them while engaging in any chore or task at your spare time. Below is a summary of slides used in the lecture video recording.

What is news?

¨From the word ‘news’ it could be deduced that the concept refers to ‘new things’, fresh happenings.

It is an account of current happening. News refers to information not previously known to someone.

It is an account of current event written by a journalist and reported through a mass medium – print or electronic.

It is a report of a recent and important event of interest to the public.

You can listen to our lecture video on “What is news” by CLICKING HERE.

Hard news

Urgent news/Breaking news about politics, economy, crime, and in every other sector.

It refers to serious news on a variety of subjects – politics, crime, economy, education etc.

Hard news is not always bad news.

Hard news is any significant disruption in the routines of daily life, whether good news or bad news, is hard news. So it must not be bad news. Good news can be hard news too.

For example, if government increases workers’ salary, this is good news, yet it is hard news.

Hard news examples

Here are some examples of hard news;

1. Lockdown: 45-year-old man commits suicide in Imo

¨A 45-year-old man, Osita Ezuruike, on Tuesday, committed suicide in his house at Umudafa, Awo Mbieri in the Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State.

(This story is clearly a hard news story. It is a crime story and crime stories are hard news stories.)

 

2. FG orders banks to open from Monday

Federal Government, Wednesday said banks in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja will begin operations from Monday 4th of May, 2020.

(This one is not negative news but it is hard news because it is very serious news.)

Soft news

This consists of news that deals with topics or events that are lighthearted or ‘not serious’.

They are primarily entertaining news stories (not just entertainment stories. There are entertainment stories that are hard news stories such as the death of a pop singer or movie star. So all entertainment stories are not soft news stories.)

Soft news emphasizes human interest. Most human interest stories are soft news stories.

Soft news stories have less immediacy or sense of urgency. They are less serious than hard news stories.

They are enjoyable news but not very essential or urgent.

They often come in form of feature stories.

Soft news examples

1. Do you know this expression? A taste of your own medicine!

By Funmi Ajumobi

Someone gives you “a taste of your own medicine” when they act towards you the same way you act towards others in order to teach you a lesson about the way you are acting. If a man acts rudely to others, for example, acting rudely back to him would be giving him “a taste of his own medicine.”
(Vanguard)

2. Woman keeps duck egg in bra for 35-day hatching

A California woman is being praised for ensuring the hatching of a cracked duck egg she found in a park after incubating it in her bra for over a month.

3. 7 ways to bring fashion stories to life with visual storytelling

The bright and colourful world of fashion is a visual storyteller’s paradise. Whether reporting from the edges of the runway, or sharing everyday style advice, fashion is a prime example of a subject that is best seen.

So how can you apply interactive storytelling techniques to make your next fashion story a richer, more engaging experience?

Here are 7 ideas to get you started, inspired by stories created with Shorthand.

(By Shorthand – https://shorthand.com/the-craft/7-ways-to-bring-fashion-stories-to-life-with-visual-storytelling/)

4. Tips for healthy living

This is going to be a guide to us in our quest to stay healthy. Let me call it ‘our commandments.’  The cornerstone of a healthy diet should be to replace processed food with real food. Eating foods that are as close as possible to the way nature made them can make a huge difference on our health.

(By Olufunke, Punch newspaper)

5. When two souls unite, you can’t fake it – Mike Edwards and wife celebrates first wedding anniversary

Mike Edward and wife Perry Shakes are celebrating their first wedding anniversary.

The couple got married in 2019 and today is their first wedding anniversary.

(By Nancy Akahalu, Vanguard newspaper)

Watch Complete lecture video here;

 

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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