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AP Guide to Newswriting Chapter 11...

Chapter 11 - Features: A View from the Poets' Corner

This section in the AP Guide to News Writing focused on the writing of feature articles opposed to hard news stories. Features are supposed to supply the reader with entertainment as well as information. I felt like this section was good to read in preparation for writing our December feature news articles. There was an interesting point in this section made about the amount of time a writer/reporter has to develop a feature opposed to a regular news story. There is generally more time allowed by the editor to compile information and for this reason features are usually relatively long pieces.

The feature is also pretty much a 'free floating' means of writing. There is no specific pattern to follow when writing featurues like with hard news stories and they can come in many variations depending on the writer's individual style. The straight news story has a lead to guide the reader where as in the feature (dehydrated lead) you need to read a little bit in order to fully understand the direction the article is taking. In features the point of the article is somtimes postponed until a little later in the reading, but not too far because the reader may loose interest before reaching it.

I enjoyed reading Jason Pugh's response to this chapter and agree with him that the feature still has to be a news story. The reporter can truly only create so much. They are just supposed to write in a manner that is breath taking and catching for the general public. I understand that features are generally human interest pieces that need to reach out and touch the reader...in the heart. I am not quite sure what type of article I can write about SHU that will do such a thing. I would love to write a feature expose' that revealed some deep dark secret.

I found it particularly interesting that even though the feature is supposed to play off emotion, the writer cannot show too much of their own in the article. Suprisingly I enjoy reading sections from the AP Guide to News Writing because it gives you such great examples of what to do and what not to do.

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