Feature articles are journalistic in nature, well-researched, detailed, colorful, intelligent, contemplative, comprehensive, and written about fresh ideas. Feature pieces go deeper than hard news coverage, highlighting and explaining the most intriguing and essential aspects of a situation or incident. They usually carry more than one angle or perspective on a subject.
In general, feature stories include these elements:
A topic that is interesting and important to readers
An explanation of the topic, including an overview of the history behind it and how it affects today's society
Details on one or more people involved in the topic, including their life stories
Analysis of how the topic has been handled in other media, such as books, movies, and music
New insights into how the topic could be addressed in the future
Style that is informative and entertaining to read
Feature stories are usually between 6,000 and 10,000 words long. There are no strict rules regarding their length, but short ones can be boring for readers. Longer ones can be overwhelming for them if they don't get enough rest before reading.
The goal of feature writing is not to report facts or explain concepts; it is to entertain readers while still being highly relevant and engaging.
A "feature story" is a nonfiction piece of writing on current events. Soft news is a form of feature piece. The news feature and the human-interest tale are the two basic sub-types. The quality of the writing distinguishes a feature article from other sorts of non-news. There is no fixed length to a feature story, but it usually takes up at least a couple of paragraphs to contain a sufficient amount of information to be useful to readers.
Feature stories may be written about people, places, or topics of interest to readers. They often include photographs and sometimes even cartoons. Some feature articles are based on interviews with many different people, while others consist solely of original reporting. Feature writers are generally journalists who cover subjects outside the traditional realm of journalism. For example, food writers report on local cuisine, travel writers visit places overseas, and theater critics review productions here at home. Often, but not always, these individuals have their own websites where they post new material. Some large newspapers have separate departments responsible for covering features.
Features are important for several reasons. First, they help readers get to know interesting people or places. This appeal can be seen in the fact that some people will go so far as to say that reading features is what makes newspapers valuable. Features also provide context: Some stories are too big or significant to be covered in only one article, but others can be told effectively in just a few hundred words.
Feature pieces are detailed and descriptive. In general, feature pieces have a strong narrative line. Feature articles contain a powerful start that draws readers in and entices them to continue reading. Feature articles mix facts and views while emphasizing the human interest aspect of the tale. They usually include several illustrations or photographs.
Features are often written by journalists who are experts on a particular topic. These writers may be reporters for newspapers or magazines, authors, bloggers, etc. Sometimes one writer will write up multiple features about different subjects. Although features can be written about anyone or anything that is newsworthy or interesting, they are usually focused on people or events within our world today. Features can also be used to describe something that is unusual or controversial. Examples might include animal features for animals protected by law or human features for people involved in scandals.
In journalism classes, it's common to discuss features as a type of story. Like all stories, features begin with an idea or a question. Then they try to find an answer by conducting research. Next, they write their article taking into account what they've learned during their investigation. Finally, they edit the piece before publishing it.
Features were very popular in the early days of newspapers. This is because they allow editors to cover a wide range of topics in a single issue of the paper.
While they can report news, the content of the news is secondary. Feature articles are both educational and entertaining. They can incorporate both bright elements and comedy. A feature article should have many different aspects to it: history, politics, science, society, sports, even entertainment.
What makes up a feature article? First, there is an opening paragraph that introduces the topic or story. This is often followed by a lead or headline sentence that states or summarizes the article's point. Then comes the body of the article, which is made up of several paragraphs that discuss the topic in depth from multiple angles. The article may include a conclusion section that summarizes the main ideas or points raised during the article.
Often, feature articles are written by journalists who are experts on a particular subject. For example, a crime reporter might know how police investigate crimes against people, but wouldn't be as familiar with other types of crimes such as property offenses or infractions. In addition to being an expert on a subject, the journalist must also be able to communicate that knowledge clearly and concisely.
Finally, feature articles need to be interesting and informative.
Feature Story Characteristics
Feature Story Types in Journalism
A feature article contains human-interesting information. Feature pieces are stories in newspapers and magazines that are not simple news reports, editorials, or advertisements. Furthermore, because of their human appeal, they seek to emotionally engage the reader. Many feature articles try to bring attention to important issues in the world today that may not otherwise be noticed.
Some examples of feature articles include profiles of people who have made an impact on history, investigative reports on current affairs, and essays on a variety of topics including science, technology, society, art, books, music, film, television, and theater. Although most feature articles do not report news, some newspapers include a section called "Features" or "Focus Features" that seeks to cover such subjects as arts reviews, sports interviews, and other non-news items.
The term "feature story" can also be used to describe a short story published in a magazine or newspaper. These articles tend to have more complex plots than news stories and often require deeper analysis from readers. Magazine editors publish feature stories to attract more readers and to give their publications a more rounded experience. Newspaper editors publish feature stories to keep their readers interested for longer periods of time.
Many feature stories use real events as their basis but others are fictionalized accounts of persons or incidents that have been important in history or contemporary life.