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….
¤ 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