Why do newspapers regularly feature stories of human interest? Simple, because these stories draw the attention of readers and encourages them to read more. Convincing a reader to know the whole story through the newspaper is what every editor hopes to accomplish with eye-catching titles and emotionally appealing stories.
Journalism defines human interest stories as feature stories that attack the article in an emotional way. Beyond providing information, a human interest story presents the subject person or people, in relation to their existing problems or achievements which will make them particularly interesting to newspaper readers or viewers.
Human interest stories are the stories behind the headlines. In a story of tragedy brought upon by a natural disaster, the headline story will be about the death toll and the amount of damages while a human interest story may be a story of how a survivor copes with the loss of either his property or his family or how he saved himself in spite of the mass destruction. Human interest stories are very personal that is why its effect on readers can be very personal as well.
There are certain criticisms on how some human interest stories are being used to manipulate reactions of readers. It is seen as an effective strategy to persuade readers to perform a particular course of action. In a similar situation about a tragedy caused by natural disasters, human interest stories can be used to encourage more donations. Other human interest stories simply aim to entertain and are often used as fillers in newspapers, magazines, or other reading materials.