Feature Stories

Feature Stories - Storytelling and Feature Writing...

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Unformatted text preview: Storytelling and Feature Writing Techniques • Writing straight news requires left-brain skills (logical/sequential/analytical). • Feature writing requires left- and right-brain skills (intuitive/creative). Go left-handers! The Feature Story * Isn’t written in inverted pyramid (as is breaking news), with most important info at top, least important at bottom. * DEFINITION: a nonfiction work meant to entertain and inform the reader while paying special attention to the human-interest aspects of storytelling . Short history of news ♦ 19 th century news was whatever the highly opinionated editor/publisher said it was, and news often was invented/contrived ! – James Gordon Bennett Jr., founder of the New York Evening Telegram, sent journalist Henry M. Stanley to Africa in search of David Livingston, the explorer – Joseph Pulitzer sent Nellie Bly around the world in 80 days; she made it in 72 days! – William Randolph Hearst – See Citizen Kane Throughout the 20 th century … ♦ By the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s, news was more legit; lighter stories typically ran on the “women’s pages,” including society news, profiles of those in the arts or charity work. ♦ By the late ’60s, led by The Washington Post’s “Style” section, newspaper feature stories were reborn (Lifestyle, Metro, etc.). ♦ Now, many stories are written to entertain, as well as to inform readers, in all media genres. So who is Matt Drudge? And which historical period’s editor is Drudge most like? Hard news vs. soft news? ♦ Features are “soft news,” not “breaking news.” ♦ They’re not as time-sensitive as mergers, contracts and immediate news for those in business PR. ♦ Features also provide information to consumers and give your PR client’s background/context. * Provide a behind-the-scenes perspective * Add the human dimension * Generate publicity for products and services Differences between business feature stories and news stories ♦ News Stories – Hard news – Timely disclosures Examples: earnings, mergers and acquisitions, expansions, layoffs ♦ Feature Stories – Soft news – Human dimension Examples: consumer tips, entertainment, food, business, real estate, technology, real estate sections Editors Love Features ♦ How-to features ♦ Case studies ♦ Consumer tips ♦ High readership factor is the determining issue for editors! ♦ Can you think of a feature story to go with this illustration? Think: News YOU Can USE! ♦ Save time ♦ Save money ♦ Make more money ♦ Get something free ♦ Think P.T. Barnum! ♦ Hit ’em (your readers) with the WIIFM factor! I. Four Feature Structures ♦ Lead, quotes, conflict/resolution ♦ Hourglass (two pyramids, the first inverted, the second not inverted so as to include a clincher ending) ♦ Champagne glass (inverted pyramid leads to chronology, then regular pyramid clincher ending) ♦ Key subject blocks (much like a 500-word essay) – great for “how-to” Note: All structures, however, require transitions, repeated thoughts, thematic concept! II. II....
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This note was uploaded on 09/28/2010 for the course JOU 4368 taught by Professor Burleson during the Spring '10 term at Baylor.

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Feature Stories - Storytelling and Feature Writing...

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