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Feature story

A feature story (also feature article, or simply feature) is a piece of journalistic writing that covers a selected issue in-depth. As such, a feature need not address an immediately topical subject as would be expected of a news story, is usually considerably longer, and may well present an opinionated view.

Features are commonly seen in newspaper supplements and magazines.


[edit] Defining a feature

While the distinction between published features and news is often clear, when approached conceptually there are few hard boundaries between the two. It is quite possible to write a feature in the style of a news story, for instance. Nevertheless features do tend to take a more narrative approach, perhaps using opening paragraphs as scene-setting narrative hooks instead of the delivery of the most important facts.[1]

[edit] Types

In The Universal Journalist,[2] David Randall suggests the following categories of feature:

Color piece
Describing a scene and throw light on its theme(s).
Fly on the wall
see Fly on the wall.
Behind the scenes
Similar to the above, but with the journalist a part of events.
In disguise
Pretending to be another person (see Ryan Parry[3]).
See interview.
An examination of a particular person. Will often include an interview.
Factbox / Chronology
A simple list of facts, perhaps in date order.
Backgrounder / A history of
An extended factbox.
Full texts
Extracts from books or transcripts of interviews.
My testimony
A first-person report of some kind.
An examination of the reasons behind an event.
Vox pop / Expert roundup
A selection of views from members of the public or experts.
Opinion poll
See opinion poll.
See review.

[edit] Usage by the press

As the print media faces ever stiffer competition from other sources of news, feature stories are becoming more common as they can be more engaging to read. At many newspapers, news stories are sometimes written in "feature style," adopting some of the conventions of feature writing while still covering breaking events. Wire services such as the Associated Press, which previously made a point of distributing only news, now also include feature stories.

The Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing is awarded annually for a distinguished example of feature writing in an American newspaper or magazine, giving prime consideration to high literary quality and originality.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Bangkok Post. "Teaching feature stories". http://www.bangkokpost.net/education/tchfeat.htm. Retrieved September 6, 2006. 
  2. ^ Randall, David (May 1, 2000). The Universal Journalist. Pluto Press. p. 240. ISBN 0745316417. http://www.universaljournalist.co.uk/. 
  3. ^ "Paper exposes Palace security". BBC News. November 19, 2003. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/3282625.stm. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 

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