Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Human Interest Journalism
The term human interest often appears on lists of news values—along with such criteria as impact, timeliness, prominence, and proximity—that ostensibly guide journalists in their decisions about news selection. Narrowly construed, human interest refers to an attribute of an event, issue, or topic that helps make that story deserving of news coverage. Stories involving cute children or animals, for instance, may be judged newsworthy primarily for their inherent appeal to human emotions. The attribute of human interest, on its own or in combination with other characteristics, often provides sufficient reason for journalistic attention. From a broader perspective, human interest journalism may be seen as a genre in its own right. Stories attempting to humanize subject matter that ordinarily seems dry or impersonal—for instance, an article that addresses problems of cost and access to medical care by relating the tale of an ill individual lacking health insurance—incorporate human interest not as ...