Soft News story ideas

9 Types of Stories to Pitch to the Media
February 8, 2016 – 05:45 pm

So you’re ready to pitch the media, but not quite sure what to pitch? The first step is doing some research on the media outlet and their audience. Once you have an understanding of the topics the media outlet covers and the types of stories they publish, you’ll be able to determine the best type of story format to pitch.

A quick lesson about hard news versus soft news

Unless you’re a communications professional, you might not know the difference between “hard” and “soft” news. Put simply, hard news deals specifically with breaking current events, while soft news is non-urgent and is mostly comprised of background news stories and features. No matter which story format you pitch, it will probably fall under the broad category of soft news and will be a type of a feature story.

A feature story is simply a story that features a particular person, place, topic or event that falls outside of “hard” or breaking news. More often than not, it isn’t tied to current news events, and takes a more narrative approach than the straight-forward format of a hard news story. Feature stories are distinguished by their format and angle, so the key thing to remember when pitching your story is that it needs to have a particular focus. Here are some of the best story formats to pitch:

Human Interest Story

Audiences love drama and a great protagonist – which is why personal stories, also known as human interest pieces, make great features. People read human interest pieces for their emotional impact. A person’s unique experiences, trials and triumphs make great subject matter for a human interest piece, so if your personal background and story are unique, this may be a good format to consider pitching.

-Personal Profile/Interview

A profile is an article that focuses on an individual and usually includes an interview with the subject. Some profiles provide a portrait of the subject (many celebrity profiles are done in this way), while others will focus on a particular aspect of the individual, such as the company they created or how they found success in their vocation. A personal profile may be presented in a narrative format or in Q&A style.

-How-To/Informative Feature

How-to/Informative features are straightforward pieces that teach the reader how to do something. Many How-To articles are written giving step-by-step instructions, while an informative feature is more narrative in format but still focuses on informing the reader about the subject matter.

-Expert round-up

Expert round-ups, or roundtables, involve the participation of multiple people with similar backgrounds, who each give their opinion about a particular topic. These types of pieces also focus on informing the reader about a topic, and can be presented as Q&A’s or feature quotes from each member of the group.

-Trend Feature

Trend features focus on new or current cultural trends. These are generally light pieces that are easy to pitch if you’re an expert in the trends of your industry. Examples of trend features include stories on new fashion, technology, music or social trends.

-Context Feature

A context feature, sometimes referred to as a news feature, is an article that focuses on a topic of interest in the news. These pieces relate or provide context to a current news event in some way. Examples range from a travel piece that highlights the city where a major sports event is occurring, to a human interest piece that focuses on the people who will be affected by a new law.

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Popular Q&A
What are some good ideas for pretend news stories?? ? | Yahoo Answers

Famous people, or even characters visiting or having graduated from the school -- like Peter Griffin or something. You could also have them commit a crime on campus. Or you can have your teacher win the Pulitzer Prize fro a novel he/she wrote. Or something like American Idol will be broadcasting from the gym..
Good luck!

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