Electronic Media Part – I(5625)

Question no. 1: Highlight characteristics of feature stories. How a feature writer conceives different ideas for writing a feature?

Characteristics of feature stories:

Human interest

Involves persons rather than things. Students who win an award or who do something significant such as scoring 1600 on SAT or qualifying for Olympic Games. Retiring teacher.


Usually done with prominent persons. Can be either an informational or a personal profile feature. Informational interviews deal with an authority whose opinions on certain subjects, facts about things or comparison are of significant value. Personality interviews are interesting because of the individual rather than the subject matter.

Informational features

Of historical, social, practical interest. Basic purpose is not to entertain but to inform. History of the school. How-to-do-it features, such as “how to buy a good stereo” or “what to do if you’re arrested or in an accident.”

Personality sketch

Develops a total picture of the person. Gets facts from the person himself. Attempts to reveal personality through anecdotes. Looks at mannerisms, actions, dress, experiences. Talks to other people about the subject.

If you’re writing about a person, here are some facts readers will want to know.

  1. Name
  2. Personality
  3. Background
  4. Physical appearance
  5. Environment
  6. Hobbies
  7. His influence on others
  8. Anecdotes/observation


What we used to call “Brites.” Also called “mini-features.” Attention-getting beginning with events told in chronological order. Conclusion – often a surprise – told quickly. Just as there are different kinds of hard-news stories in journalism, there are several types of feature stories. Often described as “soft news,” a feature story doesn’t deliver the news directly, as a hard-news story does. A feature story, while containing elements of news, aims to humanize, add color, educate, entertain, and illuminate, says Media-Studies.ca. These stories often build on news that was reported in a previous news cycle.

News Feature

The news feature is just what the name implies: a feature article that focuses on a topic in the news. News features are often published in the main news, or “A” section, or the local news, or “B” section, of a paper. These stories focus on hard-news topics but aren’t deadline stories. They bring a softer writing style to hard news. These articles often are people stories, focusing on individuals behind the news, and they often seek to humanize a set of statistics.


A profile is an article about an individual, such as a politician, celebrity, athlete, or CEO. Profiles seek to give readers behind-the-scenes looks at what a person is like, warts and all, behind the public persona. Profile articles provide background about the individual: education, life experiences, and challenges faced in getting where he or she is now, as well as basic information such as age, marital status, and family details, including the number of siblings and children.

Spot Feature

Spot features are feature stories produced on deadline that focus on a breaking news event. They are often used as sidebars to the mainbar, the deadline news story about an event. Suppose a tornado hits a community. The mainbar would focus on the five W’s and H of the story the who, what, when, where, why, and how including the number of casualties, the extent of damage, and rescue efforts. Complementing the mainbar, the paper might publish one or more spot features focusing on various aspects of the event.


The trend story would likely appear in the lifestyle, fashion, cooking, high-tech, or entertainment section. These stories explore trends such as a new look in women’s fall fashions, a website or tech gadget that everyone’s going nuts over, an indie band attracting a cult following, or a show on an obscure cable channel that’s suddenly hot.


The live-in is an in-depth, often magazine-length article that paints a picture of a particular place and the people who work or live there. Live-in stories might appear in the lifestyle section of the paper or in a magazine that the paper publishes occasionally, such as once a week or once a month.

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