From Front-Page to Fluff

The news pendulum has swung, with media quickly returning from their coverage of hard news following the attacks on Sept. 11 to the fluffy stories of last summer. A new study
from Columbia University think tank The Project for Excellence in Journalism, examined story topics on three networks during the first 13 weeks of 2002 on nightly and morning
broadcasts. Content was divided into two categories: hard news (politics, war, policy) and soft news (celebrities, crime, lifestyle). Soft news predominated, leading the group to
conclude that networks are back to being feature-driven news organizations. (Tom Rosenstiel, director, Project for Excellence in Journalism, mail@journalism.org)