Bringing Personality to Writing (But Not Your Own)
Although feature pieces may not be news that is important to the now because they are works that reporters actually have time to research and work on, I still think they are important to the newswriting audience. Even if someone doesn't have the time or interest to read a piece on the writer behind the Dr. Seuss disguise, there are other feature stories that cover topics instead of just people, such as pieces on companies, disease, etc. I think in the big picture these pieces are important because they offer more research based information that could affect the reader's opinions or choices in some way. It may not provide a reader with the much needed and desired daily weather report or details of the house fire from last night, but it does provide information that affects readers' lives in some way. For example, if a newspaper does a feature piece on some sort of health issue, I'm sure the readers of the article will look at their health and the choices they make that affect it in a different way.
When looking at the style of the feature piece on Theodor Geisel, the reporter did do an excellent job of keeping herself out of the article until the very end. I also liked how she did combine several different elements of her research to create a more complete picture of Geisel. Just an interview with him would have left readers without a better understanding of how he became the successful writer he is today. I enjoyed seeing how her research pieced together because she used it in very resourceful ways.
Although this article may not having been "breaking news" or a hot headline, I think the style and tone used by Gorney would have attracted and kept more readers who may not even have a strong interest in children's books or Dr. Seuss. I myself thought I would lose interest quickly in the dry biography I was expecting to read. However, I became very interested in the story as Gorney seemed to reflect Geisel's personality in her writing style. Matching her writing to his personality really made the article more interesting and I as a reader felt I got to "know" the real Dr. Seuss a little more personally.