Human interest stories continue to thrive

Posted by Gina Pappas on September 1, 2010 |

There is a noticeable difference on the front pages of community newspapers today. While stories involving crimes and the courts still find space above the fold, often the most predominant space is now dedicated to the special stories of the people around us.

Those are the stories we don’t expect to hear or read, but once we know about them, we find ourselves affected in some way or another.

One recent example is the story of a Red Oak, Iowa, couple that married on a Monday afternoon, less than 24 hours before the groom would undergo kidney transplant surgery. The twist: The donor of the organ was his new bride.

Perhaps another quirk that sets this story apart from others: The couple was married in a historic jail museum in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Though both contended to the press that they were taking their marriage ceremony and vows very seriously, they decided to get married at the jail because the bride had “finally been caught.”

At one time, these human interest stories were often relegated to an inside page of a newspaper or the second segment of a newscast. They took second place to stories involving crimes and tragedy.

Nowadays, stories like this stand out amongst the doom and gloom. In a society that is often bombarded with bad news, people yearn for news that is good and positive.

The human interest story is not only breathing new life into a struggling industry, but it also allows the public to hear and read the unknown and previously untold stories of everyday people who are often no different than they are. Once an underrated and under-appreciated facet of journalism, these features are now essential in keeping many organizations functional.

 

 

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