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  • Author: Luc Poecke x
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The requirement for the facts to be sacred in the making of the news implies that the journalist must approach these facts from the „right distance“. This correct approach is presently being achieved by neither of the two main categories of news, hard news and soft news. The first (news of and about institutions) is overdistanced and, with its purely objectivizing and rational discourse, does not concern the public; the second (human interest stories, sensational news, gossip, and scandals) is underdistanced and addresses only the irrationality and subjectivity of the public. Of both genres of news the textual strategies are analyzed in this article. However, since neither of the genres is satisfactory, since the one is characterized by too much and the other by too little distance, the ideal of a precise balance doesn’t stop haunting both journalistic praxis and journalistic theory. Nevertheless, in this article it is argued that this precise balance is a myth, and the „semiotic square“ of A.J. Greimas is used for purposes of clarification and formalization. At the same time, this article attempts to determine how the two genres reach their public. Here, use is made of the discourse typology developed by J. Lacan: hard news is the discourse of power and is linked to what Lacan called the „discourse of the Master“ (with its extension, the „University discourse“). Soft news is news for the powerless and is linked to Lacan’s „discourse of the Hysteric“.