6.1 Human interest stories

The human interest story connects the public to an emergency on a personal level. The reader sees the emergency through the eyes of an individual who is actually experiencing the emergency. Once the connection is made, the story can expand to a broader picture of the emergency. Human interest stories involve five elements:

  • a compelling individual who attaches a human face to the larger issue
  •  a challenge faced by the individual, which also represents the challenge faced by the population as a whole
  •  a brief, simple description of the larger situation
  •  quotes from an expert and facts that prove the story
  •  What does CARE plan to do about the situation?

A useful way to prepare for human interest stories is to have field staff gather information from people they talk to in the field, which can be developed into stories. Please refer to Annex 13.11 CARE Storytelling Guide and Templates. Training documents and guidance are also available and have been uploaded here. Some highlights:


If you want to see more examples you can also visit our Story Central: monthly summary of communications products shared with CI within that month, with links.