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FEATURE WRITING

Feature Writing
Key function is to humanize, to add color, to educate, to entertain, to illuminate News is meant to inform; feature is meant to entertain

What is a feature story?


A feature story is a special human interest story or article that is not closely tied to a recent news event. It goes into great detail regarding concepts and ideas of specific market interest. (Wikipedia) An in-depth and factual write up on a topical issue which seeks to give comprehensive information in a more captivating and relaxed style than straight news. (Okoye)

What is a feature story?


...an insight into a trend or an issue or personality. ...It enlightens the reader about that trend or issue or personality in a broad context. It uses specific examples to illustrate that trend or issue and puts them in a broad framework that allows the social, economic, corporate and/or political implications to shine through, whether sectoral, national or global. (Reuters Handbook of Journalism)

Hard News vs. Soft News


(based from Helpful Hints for Journalistic Writing, The Writing Center, Clarion University of Pa., 2009 and Lets write a feature story! by Don Ranly, Ph.D., Missouri School of Journalism)

Hard News
(NEWS WRITING)

Soft News
(FEATURE WRITING)

Lead: 5 Ws & H Current news Follows inverted pyramid (most vital information to least important) Written in third person Headline tells usually about the lead or what the news is about Meant to inform

Focus: Who, what & why Does not need to be current Narrative (beginning, middle and end) Can be first or second person person Headline focuses on the theme of the story Meant to entertain

Hard News vs. Soft News


(based from Helpful Hints for Journalistic Writing, The Writing Center, Clarion University of Pa., 2009 and Lets write a feature story! by Don Ranly, Ph.D., Missouri School of Journalism)

Hard News
(NEWS WRITING)

Soft News
(FEATURE WRITING)

Presents information in short paragraphs (one sentence-one paragraph) Based on facts (detailed; no heavy descriptive language) Objective Straight to the point

2-3 sentences/paragraph (clear and concise sentences) Based on facts (descriptive and colorful writing; has writers own individual style and tone) Not necessarily objective; allows for viewpoint and voice Delayed (keeps readers curious)

Types of Features
Informative feature Gives information on subject of current interest. This feature is usually based on interview and research. Human Interest Feature It deals with minor incidents that deserve attention because of dramatic, humorous, tragic, sensational, or unusual (odd) angle of the story. This kind of feature story appeals to the emotion, it may have a lesser news value but it enjoy wide readership because of its human appeal.

Types of Features
News Feature It gets its materials from current events, covering details that were omitted by the news. Howto feature It gives information on the process of doing things and how certain products are made. Personal Experience This tell of some unusual true to life experiences written in the first person account.

Types of Features
Personality Sketch Silver screen celebrities, political figures, athletes, beauty titlist, these are the popular choices for personality sketch. As we all know people are interested in people, so much so, articles written about them, especially about their private lives, and secrets are much sought after and read by their fans. Humorous Feature The primary objective of feature stories is too entertain and what is more fitting than making people laugh and be relieve of the stress of life while reading your article.

Types of Features
Interpretative Feature This feature helps the reader understand the background and significance of social, economic, political and other problems of everyday life. Seasonal or Holiday Feature Subject are events celebrated once a year. Travelogue An account of ones travel experience and a vivid description of places visited

How to Write Features


Steps to writing a feature article
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Brainstorm ideas Whats the purpose? Research the topic Grab the readers attention Keep that attention Leave an impression

Choosing Your Angle


Think of the angle (point or theme) as your approach to the story. Is the story of interest to the audience? Does the story have holding power (emotional appeal)? What makes the story worthy of being reported? The theme answers the question, "So what?"

Writing the Lead


A lead block of one or two paragraphs often begins a feature Rather than put the news elements of the story in the lead, the feature writer uses the first two or three paragraphs to set a mood, to arouse readers, to invite them inside

Types of Leads
Quick Bursts Lead a series of direct statements
Pound for pound king. Greatest Filipino boxer, etc

Surprise Lead an eye opening beginning


The greatest fighter in the whole world is from a thirdworld country.

Contrast Lead an opening with opposites or differences


Mayweather is unbeaten, still many consider Pacquiao to be better than him despite Mannys imperfect record.

Figurative Lead an opening figure of speech


Manny Pacquiao is the Pambansang Kamao

Types of Leads
Allusion Lead an opening reference to literature
Like a diamond in the rough, Manny Pacquiao was plucked from the slums.

Expert Lead an opening quote from expert


Freddy Roach says, Manny is the greatest fighter in the world because

Suspense Lead an open ended beginning


The only thing Manny lacks to be considered as the best boxer ever is

Question Lead an opening question


What makes Manny Pacquiao into a global icon?

MAINAM NAMANG MAALIS kami sa ilog, kung ganyan namang nagbabaha, siyempre kailangan din yung buhay ng mga anak ko kaso wala kaming magawa, sapat lang yung upa namin, housewife Virgie Venus, 33, narrates as she peers over the window showing her family and neighbors home submerged in Planters Berm Floodway, Cainta, Rizal. Virgie currently stays with her husband, Nelson, 40, and her kids in an evacuation center near their area. A few blocks away from where Virgies family lives, Manay Openg Robles, 50, together with her husband Sigfredo, 53, and their three children also abandoned their home and sought refuge in a small hamburger stand near their house.

Flawed Controls Gelina Rose Bongon


Philippine Collegian, Tomo 90, Blg. 10, Agosto 24, 2012

Nut Graph
A paragraph in which the main points of a story are summarized. Nut graphs are often used in conjunction with delayed [leads] on feature stories. A feature story may begin with a delayed [lead], often featuring description or an anecdote, that can last several paragraphs. That is then followed by a nut graph that outlines the main points of the story. (Tony Rogers, About.com)

Nut Graph
Thesis statement of your story Where the feature writer lays out for the reader exactly what the story is all about Usually in the third or fourth paragraph Explains the reason the story is being written Provides vital information while it educates, entertains, and emotionally ties an audience to the subject

The Venus and Robles belong to the 195,000 families whose homes along the waterways of Metro Manila and Laguna Lake are threatened of demolition, owing to President Benigno Aquino IIIs instructions to Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson to blast these houses if the residents do not leave within a certain period.

Flawed Controls Gelina Rose Bongon


Philippine Collegian, Tomo 90, Blg. 10, Agosto 24, 2012

Body of the Feature


Important components include:
Background information
A paragraph or two of background should be placed high in the story to bring the audience up to date

The thread of the story


Connect the beginning, body and conclusion of the story Because a feature generally runs longer than a news story, it is effective to weave a thread throughout the story, which connects the lead to the body and to the conclusion This thread can be a single person, an event or a thing, and it usually highlights the theme

Body of the Feature


Important components include:
Dialogue
May be used to keep a story moving In feature reporting, it must be accurate Can give readers strong mental images and keep them attached to the writing and to the storys key players

Voice
The "signature" or personal style of each writer Voice is the personality of the writer and can be used to inject color, tone, subtle emotional commentary into the story. Voice should be used subtly

Wrapping it Up
The ending will wrap up the story and come back to the lead, often with a quotation or a surprising climax. Often, a feature ends where the lead started, with a single person or event.

Evidently, the issue of floods in Metro Manila, stretches beyond the existence of informal settlements in waterways. After all, the poor would rather risk living with the threat of calamities that occurs infrequently, rather than gamble their daily welfare to uncertainty. It would take the government more than building housesor blasting shantiesto permanently end the plight of the urban poor.

Flawed Controls Gelina Rose Bongon


Philippine Collegian, Tomo 90, Blg. 10, Agosto 24, 2012

Photography: Jiru Nikko M. Rada Philippine Collegian, Tomo 90, Blg. 10, Agosto 24, 2012

Photography: Jiru Nikko M. Rada Philippine Collegian, Tomo 90, Blg. 10, Agosto 24, 2012

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