The respected Comrade
The soft-style news article is a kind of article written in a soft and smooth language which is resulted from the introduction of the artistic elements of literature into the journalism.
It was born as result of close relationship between the forms and contents of the journalism and those of the literature. Today it has become one of the most important genres in journalism.
The soft-style news article could depict the facts and events vividly however, it also has the possibility of giving readers such impression as reading a novel.
If too much room is allowed for descriptive elements in news articles, it will result the loss of the basic feature of the journalism whose main purpose is to convey to the readers the real fact as it is.
This paper analyzed the characteristics of the soft-style news article in comparison with the novel and found that reliability, timeliness and informativeness are the most important characteristics of the soft-style news article.
First of all, why do we have such an opinion that there is resemblance between a soft-style news article in journalism and a novel?
They have many similarities, basically found in descriptive expressions and dramatic organization.
The main reason why a soft-style news article in journalism is regarded to be similar to the novel of literature is, above all, the descriptive expressions.
The soft-style news articles were not emerged from the need to expand the kinds of articles in journalism, but from the efforts of the authors to better achieve the goal of journalism and from the needs of the readers.
To this end, it is necessary to develop a new way of writing articles which can give readers life-like feelings.
It is for this reason that we focus our efforts on ensuring the artistic quality by reflecting the story and characters, introducing dialogues and writer's emotion, using stylistic methods such as simile, metaphor, antithesis, euphemism, climax, and rhetorical questions.
Conveying the news with a smooth, sentimental and artistic approach in an interesting and realistic way, far from being a dull and dry way of conveying the news is a positive aspect of the soft-style news article.
Then, let's compare it with a soft-style news article.
The novel is, indeed, a typical form of literature that comprehensively uses the means of interpretation in literature, and it reflects human life in a certain plot through detailed descriptions.
It is a literature of artistic portrayal that makes full use of such means of interpretation as description, words, writer's emotions, notes and explanations, presents them in an intuitive way as well as the inner and rear life at will, and portrays the appearance of man and his life without any restriction in time or space.
As literary works express in language the living people who breathe, think and act in reality, and their lives, various means and techniques of interpretation are used in a variety of ways.
The vividness, non-repetitiveness and individualistic expression of language give an artistic picture of man, his personality and the essence of life. This is the life and nature of art and literature.
In ensuring artistic quality, the techniques of language expression are widely used, such as metaphor, personification, exaggeration, compounding, repetition, verbal conduction, abbreviation, rhetorical questioning, monologues, and exclamation.
In this regard, the soft-style news article and the novel have possibilities that may seem very similar in terms of artistic quality.
Another aspect in which a soft-style news article may seem very similar to a novel is the dramatic architecture.
Drama generally refers to the direct contrast between conflicting personalities.
The dramatic architecture is very effective in making people nervous and excited.
The news itself is something dramatic. Dramatic news can also impress people in its own right, but in a soft-style news article, the author applies dramatic architecture skilfully to provide the density of facts and events more sharply so that the reader has no other choice but to read the article to the end once he or she starts reading.
Severity, sharpness, intensity, and tension are common attributes in drama and they are the main force that concentrates people's attention and attracts them.
The novel is a form of literature of description. The word "novel" originated from the word which meant "story." But the story of the novel is not just a story, but a literary story, and it cannot be debated apart from its dramatic character.
How is the dramatic architecture expressed in the novel?
The dramatic architecture does not mean the common story of everyday life, but rather the events that have broken the flow of normal life, the shocking events that can attract some interest or attention among the public.
We say it is dramatic when we get an unexpected result by chance or when the result turns out to be a quite another thing beyond our expectation.
We also feel that a story of suspense about an affair that seems to be settled but is not resolved each time or a story about the sudden dispelling of a mutual misunderstanding is dramatic.
In a word, a story that contains twists and turns, arousing the feeling of tension and suspense in people with the interruption of the regular flow of life and the upsetting of their expectations, can be a dramatic story, and an event that has these features can also be dramatic.
Thus, as the architecture of the novel relies on the techniques of dramatic composition, it seems very similar to the techniques of dramatic composition of a soft-style news article.
As such, the fact that the soft-style news article and the novel have something in common with the descriptive and dramatic aspects leads to the question that what the difference between the two is. Given that this similarity has been proposed, it is very important to find out the essential characteristics of the soft-style news articles in journalism.
Then, what do you see the characteristics of the soft-style news articles different from the novel?
The characteristics of a soft-style news article can be seen in many ways, but we try to characterize it by seeing what character the novel does not possess of a soft-style news article.
The first characteristic of the soft-style news article can be considered to be reliability.
This is a peculiar feature of the journalism and it is an important element that makes the soft-style news article fundamentally different from the novel.
The principle of reflecting the facts and events as they are does not work in writing novels.
That's because the novel does not aim at conveying a certain news to society, but it just reflects man, his character and life.
Thus, novelists create a human life that does not exist in reality, and they make up another life with imagination, fiction, fantasy and exaggeration, conveying their ideas, views and intentions to the readers.
Even if they depict the historic facts in their novels, they also inserts stories made according to its subjective intentions, but within the scope of the novel it does not matter.
There is a fundamental difference between the soft-style news article and novel in that it had no necessity for the latter to reflect just the facts and events, and that the former uses artistic techniques to better and more vividly reflect events.
The second characteristic of the soft-style news article can be considered to be timeliness.
The space-time scope of the novel is enormous. The novel does not have a necessity to convey a new fact or event that people don't know as immediately as possible.
The novel directs everything to the elucidation of the seed, theme and idea, making use of old events, facts and things already known to the people.
It is a novel that the writer can depict everything in the past, today and in the future by giving full play to his imagination.
Thus, the timeliness is not life and soul for the novel has the possibility of choosing anything that can answer the questions raised by the writer, whether it is from recent years or long time ago.
However, in a soft-style news article, timeliness is regarded as a principle and a life.
As the timeliness is the lifeblood of the journalism, the soft-style news article, as a kind of journalism, naturally must ensure timeliness.
Whether it expresses a certain argument, or conveys a news story such as a fact, a soft-style news article must ensure the timeliness, the main feature of journalism, and consider the timing of events, even when they deal with past events.
In a strict sense, a soft-style news article that does not make timeliness a principle loses its character as a journalism, and this is an important characteristic of soft-style news article that is essentially different from the novel.
The third characteristic of a soft-style news article can be considered to be informativeness.
If you're asked "Do you read a novel to acquire a new information?", your answer will be "no". But if you're asked "Do you read the news article for a new information?", your answer will be "yes".
This is another important characteristic of the soft-style news article which differs from the novel.
We have already mentioned that the novel uses such techniques as fiction, imagination and exaggeration to give answers to the question raised by the novel.
This reveals that the novel introduces fiction in order to achieve its purpose, and at the same time, that the soft-style news article does not allow the insertion of fiction for the objective transmission of facts and events.
In terms of informativeness, we will put our focus on the kinds of need to be met by people who read soft-style news articles and novels.
No matter how much a soft-style news article uses literary methods, such as artistic expressions and dramatic architecture, it's just for nothing but ensuring the main feature of the journalism, and it does not mean that the journalism may lose some of the main features in order to commercialize the article.
Articles which are written purely for interest and curiosity cannot be said to be a news article in its original sense and, as mentioned above, it will not be able to escape the tendency of the fictionization of the soft-style news article.
It is a soft-style newspaper article that aims to help people get new, valuable information so that it can help their work and life, not to be taken into consideration in human beings, society and life, and shaping destiny after reading the bulky collection of works containing various kinds of novels.
Like this, a soft-style news article has its own characteristics that are completely different from the novel in reliability, timelineness and informativeness.