Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lesson 6


What is a feature?

¨ A feature story is a major news story written like a piece of short fiction.

¨ Feature makes the reader think and care. And it contains:

¨ More emotion

¨ More attention to human interest facts

¨ More people

Types of Features

¨ News story but longer and detailed

¨ Collective (chronicle) stories (often in weekly or monthly reports. It chronics events happened in, for example, a week. It happens mostly in politic reports. Or it shows different sides of an event)

¨ Human interest reports

¨ I narrate stories (describing what eye sees to tell a story. Mostly for human interest reports)

¨ Personality profiles

¨ Investigative reports

Writing a Feature

¨ Feature can be written in three ways, or even more

¨ For news reports and analyses, the inverted pyramid is used just like in a news story

¨ For human interest feature, diamond style mostly used

¨ For I reports, it usually chronologically tell the story

¨ Will often be longer than a traditional news story

¨ Feature aims to humanize, to add color, to educate, to entertain, to clarify

¨ May or may not be tied to a current event

Elements of Feature Writing

n Color : small details adding life to writing

n Description: of what people are doing or how events happen

n background: further facts

n Quotes: to make story influent

n Narrative: story telling

n Dialogue: discussion, argument for showing conflicts and contrasts

n Opinions and Analysis

Intro writing for features:

¨ Straight: just like a news story, brief the important information

¨ Descriptive: paint a scene, then drive into the story.

¨ Catching episode: choose an attractive scene or a dramatic point drawing reader’s interest to follow the whole story

¨ Narrative: this tells a story in a chronological way, from the beginning.

¨ Historical: This uses an incident in the past to start the story.

How to end feature

n A comment

n Arguing a case or drawing a conclusion

n A concluding quote

n A pointed question

n A summary of the article

While Choosing the Topic

¨ Has the story been done before? By your agency or by others

¨ Is the story of interest to the audience? How large is the target? Only students, only politicians or the whole community

¨ How big is the impact of the story?

¨ What makes the story worthy of being reported?

¨ Sensitivity, breaking redlines, oddness, creativity, are always taken in consideration while choosing topic. Journalists always look for topic no one before could have done

Planning for feature

n Organizing several interviews with relevant officials and people

n Accessing background material: googling, press scanning, studying, laws, statements, press releases, listening to music, watching films, programs, etc.

n Deciding on the angle of piece: which type of feature you are going to write

n Always note down what you watch or what information you get

n Also other tools, recorder, camera….

Further notes

¤ Re-read the feature several times

¤ Check that the style is appropriate for your publication - for example,

n Past or present tense

n Use of first person

n Assumed knowledge

n Length of sentences and paragraphs

n Technicalities - abbreviations, numbers, etc

¤ Don’t be ashamed to use style guide, dictionary and thesaurus.

¤ Kill the darlings to make more interesting

Show your draft to someone else to read

No comments:

Post a Comment