reporting with a twist?

8 Mar

Features come in a number of formats, including; life style, background, profiles, interview, opinion column and news feature. All of these formats can be written in various ways.

lifestyle feature – These are features about general information e.g. health and nutrition, fashion, weddings, education, dating etc. These will usually be written by someone who is either an authoritative voice with knowledge on the subject, or by a person who has done a lot of research on the subject. These will sometimes by written in first person and include opinion. These are often found in magazines.

Background feature– This is written to give background information on a topic which has recently been in the news. These are often written in a more formal tone and may even use the inverted pyramid style of writing used in news reports. These are often found in newspapers/websites.

Profile feature– Creates a profile of a person, either through interview and research or through other people’s opinions, or research alone. As long as a deep and insightful description of the person is created, that is the main aim. these are found in newspapers such as The New Yorker which publishes longer features.

Interview feature– The are another way to give insight into a person of interest. The body of text will mostly be based on quotes which have come from the interview. These are most often found in magazines.

Opinion Column– Often written in a first person style, these give a well researched opinion of a current issue.

news feature– These can have opinion as well but they are more concerned with giving extra “how?” and “why?” knowledge to a current news issue. These will often use the inverted pyramid style of writing.

So a feature can be about any subject which is of current interest to the public or the magazine readers, for example, a feature about flowers would be unlikely to feature in a Men’s Health Magazine.

Some subjects which are often of interest are: fashion, beauty, cars, technology, media, gardening, travel and food.

Often features will be introduced with a “stand first” which is an introductory paragraph before the lead which tells the reader what relevance the feature has to the present. After the stand first, the feature can start with a lot of description to set a scene to paint a picture in the mind of the reader to allow the reader to get a feel for the scene. Or, the feature can be started with a quote, which is an affective way to quickly grasp the attention of the reader. It is important to capture conversation e.g. include quotes, as well as to use characterisation which involves description of mannerisms, age, address, clothing etc.

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