Feature Story• It is defined by Hobenberg as a “writeup that is based on that mysterious ingredient in journalism called HUMAN INTEREST – an event that appeals to us because we can relate to it”.• It is also called “soft news” w/c is more concerned with human interest”.
Purposes• To entertain• To inform• To instruct• To relate to man’s inner feelings
Tips on Feature Writing1. Be careful on your choice of subject.2. The feature article should be factual, realistic and credible.3. Make ideas concrete, clear and simple.4. Use striking statements both in the opening and closing paragraphs, quotations, episodes, anecdotes, dialogues, etc. to set the mood of the story.5. Use simple language to be understood better.6. Keep the most important parts – the opening and the closing paragraphs – interesting and appealing to the readers.
News Feature Story• It is based on a recent event.• It aims to emphasize a certain point.Tips on how to make a good news feature:1. Find a topic that’s doable.2. Find real people.3. Get plenty of facts & stats.4. Get the expert view.5. Get the big picture.
Hard but Blessed LifeWritten by: Mildred Julia Gonzales BINAN, LAGUNA -- “Ma, we have a surprise for you,” Angelica exclaimed as she entered their home with her younger brother Angelo. Both just arrived from school. Melinda, who was busy cooking, turned to see them. “I am top 4 in our class! While Angelo is first honor,” Angelica said. Angelica, 14 years old, is currently in 2nd year highschool in Jacobo Z. Gonzales Memorial High School, while Angelo, 10 years old, is a grade 3 student in Pagkakaisa Elementary School. Melinda showered her children with hugs and kisses. Aside from Angelo and Angela, Melinda has two other children named Jefferson and Wilson who are also performing well in school. Silently, she prayed, “thank you Lord for my diligent and bright children and for Pantawid Pamilya for supporting our children’s school needs.” For Melinda, life was bearable. Her husband, Nolasco, earned minimum wage at a factory and have enough money to provide the basic needs of her four children. “We were poor then but we have enough money to ensure that my children never had to skip a meal,” recalled Melinda. But the financial crisis that hit the country in 2008 caused the factories to retrench and leave hundreds of workers including Nolasco without a job. To deal with their financial crisis, Nolasco tried buying and selling scrap materials, while Melinda began accepting laundry jobs. Anna, who was graduating high school at the time, was forced to stop schooling and help Melinda in her laundry work. Now, without any stable source of income, their children’s education and future were under peril. Fortunately, they were chosen as one of the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in 2009. “I really wouldn’t know what to do without the program. The cash grants help us provide for my children’s health and education needs,” she said. Melinda joyfully relayed.“There was a point when we almost succumb to self pity. Our earnings were never enough no matter how hard we work. We even considered stopping Angelo and Angelica from schooling. Our hope returned when we found out about the Pantawid Pamilya. Now, we promised to keep our children in school despite our economic crisis,”
Pantawid Pamilya encourages their children to study harder. “I always tell them that it is because of PantawidPamilya that they get to continue their education. Thus, they should not waste this opportunity and fulfill theirco-responsibility to the program, that is to never be absent in class,” shared Melinda.Melinda receives P1,100 per month for the health and education needs of her children. The households’counterpart to the program is their compliance to its conditions which include attendance of parents to familydevelopment sessions, availing of regular health check-ups in health centers and for children to maintain aschool/daycare attendance rate of at least 85%.Angelica’s dream is to be a teacher, while Angelo aims to be computer engineer. Melinda is grateful thatPantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program gave her the opportunity to continue the education to her children and hope that someday, they will be able to achieve their dreams. “I never heard of a computer engineer when I was young because children grow old to be like their fathers, a driver or a worker. But now, whenever I hearmy children talk about their dreams. I feel that, maybe, through Pantawid Pamilya, those dreams can berealized.”The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is a conditional cash transfer program that aims to improve thequality of life of the poor by investing in their human capital. Currently, there are 4,450 householdbeneficiaries in Laguna and 2,212,055 registered household beneficiaries nationwide. The objectives andconditions of Pantawid Pamilya are anchored to meeting the Millennium Development Goals, namely,eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, achievement of universal primary education, promotion of gender equality, reduction of child mortality and improvement of maternal health.###(Pantawid Pamilya SocialMarketing Unit)
Information Feature• It tells the readers based on interviews or research.
Personality Sketch• It features people who have attained success.
Good Guy Gone BetterWritten by: Anjenelle Amante At his best, he showers me with a myriad of things I call “favorites”, blurts out an oddly humorous punch line and tells me hilarious stories about his escapades. At his worst, he’s nothing short of becoming an ogre— his sneering voice and alarming appearance never fail to give me the chills. “Learn to fight for yourself”, he would always say whenever some naughty kids try to make fun of me at primary school. He’s always been the tough guy his classmates dreaded having to fight with. At the same extent, however, he’s an example of what student delinquents are. Not that he’s done much harm to his teachers and peers. He’s just more interested in playing basketball and mastering the skills of online gaming than doing school stuff which he considered rubbish. “Studying isn’t just my thing”, he just shrugged his shoulders when I asked why he didn’t even bother to review his lessons. “I ought to be famous someday. Shooting the ball at crucial situations and bringing home the most valuable player award.” He added with a surreal look on his face. I admired the confidence with which he said those words. With his oozing determination, I was convinced his dream would meet reality. It was unfortunate that we had to be separated after he finished second year high school. He went to a private secondary school somewhere in Alitagtag (a place which was an alien to me, really). We didn’t actually lose touch. He would visit me in Lipa whenever he had time. But then, his occasional visits had gone from seldom to never. I guess we were both busy with our studies. It was a good thing that technological advances made communication between two people apart possible. We finally got reunited during my first year in college. When I saw him again, I could sense that his lively spirit and caring nature did not fade with time. He would still laugh crazily with the corniest joke, eat his burger in two minutes flat, pour two tablespoons of sugar into his coffee and play basketball till his body couldn’t take any more torture.
He has improved a lot. He began showing interest in his studies. Taking up BS Hotel and RestaurantManagement, he started taking control of his life (and doing a pretty good job at it). Learning to cook avariety of delectable dishes was just a bonus; plus having the opportunity to visit astonishing placeswhich brought him so much satisfaction.“I really think this is my calling. For some time I went astray and ended up lost. This is high time Iredeem all faults.” He uttered this profoundly in one of those rare times I caught him looking veryserious and staring blankly at nothingness. He certainly learned a lot of things. He even risked doing theunthinkable and grabbing unique opportunities for personal enrichment while preparing for his futurecareer.Well, he might have changed a great deal, but for me, he’s still the same old him— only better.At this point, I can very well say that he’s on the right track and has really established propermomentum. He did not become a basketball player in the professional league, by the way. He will neverbe, sad to say. His height speaks for it. But he succeeded in drawing out what’s possible from thecomplex maze of impossibilities. That’s what’s so amazing about him.Now, he has also found his set of friends— a group where he really fit in. They labeled him mamay(probably because he’s the oldest in their circle). His classmates? They call him Andrew. Relativesidentify him as AJ. His girlfriend tagged him with different mushy endearments. He’s Mr. Amante to hisprofessors and will forever be my mom’s totoy. But simply, he is the perfect kuya to his darling littlesister— me.
Human Interest Story• It is a story that basically appeals to the emotions.• It aims to show the subject’s oddity, or its practical, emotional or entertainment value.• It presents people and their problems, concerns, or achievements in a way that brings about interest or sympathy in the reader or viewer.
R&B singer Usher wins primary custody of sonsWritten by: Jonathan Landrum Jr. ATLANTA (AP) - Grammy-winning R&B singer Usher on Friday was awarded primary physical custody of his two sons, ending a long legal fight with his ex-wife. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Bensonetta Tipton Lane ruled that the singer, 33, will have primary custody of 4-year-old Usher Raymond V and 3 year-old Naviyd Ely Raymond, according to Cherrise Boone, spokeswoman for the court clerk’s office. His custody will start Sept. 1. Boone said Usher and his ex-wife Tameka Foster Raymond will have joint legal custody. The type of visitation hasn’t been determined yet for Tameka Raymond. Usher’s lawyer, Ivory Brown, did not immediately return a call on Friday. Lisa West, a lawyer for Tameka Raymond, did not immediately return an email seeking comment. Usher, whose real name is Usher Raymond IV, married Tameka Raymond in 2007. They divorced two years later. He said the couple had been separated since July 2008 and claimed there was “no reasonable hope of reconciliation” and the marriage was “irretrievably broken.” In May, Usher testified that Tameka Raymond spit at and tried to fight with his girlfriend during one visit and that his ex-wife hit him during the dispute. He said he didn’t press charges because: “I didn’t want the boys to know that their father put their mother in jail,” he said. Tameka Raymond’s attorney claimed that Usher provoked her client and that his account is exaggerated. The custody decision comes after Tameka Raymond’s 11-year-old son Kile Glover died last month after he was critically injured in a boating accident. The boy was run over July 6 by a personal watercraft on Lake Lanier, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Lake Lanier is about 40 miles northeast of Atlanta.
Trend Stories• These kinds of feature story examine people, things or organizations and latest fads that create impact to society.Tips on making a good trend story:1. Make it current.2. Find what is buzz-worthy.3. Keep it fun.4. Make sure it’s real.
The Latest Trend: Trend StoriesWritten by: Daniel WatsonJack Shafer of Slate Magazine has seen it all.Just in the last few months: fashionable chicks on bicycles, criminals wearing Yankees caps, flatchest pride, Chinese hymenoplasties, drivers buzzed on meds, marijuana cuisine, PakistanisImpersonating Indians, Christian fight clubs, and dudes with cats.Shafer is the false trend policeman and he uncovers these trends in his weekly offering “PressBox.” He is a long-time journalist who explores the ethical violations and shortfalls of themainstream media.“I devote time to them in my column because they piss me off,” he replied bluntly during a recentemail exchange. Trend stories are hot. And so is lazy journalism. They engage our very nature. Thehuman desire to fit in, to be like everyone else, to be told what to do next.After the caveman’s fur-skin, “You had cats in ancient Egypt, central heating in ancient Rome, andthe woad that was worn by the Iceni,” wrote Simon O’Hagan in the Independent. “Trends wereeverywhere, and then people discovered that they couldnt live without them.”Reporters love them “because they’re lazy,” Shafer said. In the last decade, they’ve become allthe rage.In an ironic twist, trend stories are the newest trend, and the media is much to blame.It started at the turn of the century. According to Radosh.net, a Nexis database search for “trend”in the headline produced fewer than 4,000 articles in 1990. In 1997, more than 14,000 appeared.
For every good trend story, there are dozens that are baseless, without statistics to back them up. Of arecent Associated Press story titled “DOJ Report Says Child Porn on the Rise,” Shafer points out thetrend story actually undermines itself. “The number of offenders accessing the images and videos andthe quantity of images and videos being traded is unknown,” the article states.It’s a classic example of what Poynter.org terms “a common red flag in trend stories.” A claim in the nutgraph recanted or qualified later in the story.“’Weasel words’ — some, few, often, seems, likely — are red flags,” the article states.But why? Why has the media taken up this love affair, often violating its own ethical tenants for the easeand access of an unsubstantiated report?Daniel Radosh of Radosh.net proposes “the general transformation of the media.” Due to the Internet’sdemand for immediacy, daily newspapers have to “redefine themselves.” The breaking news story is forthe 24-hour TV reports and Internet blogs. Newspapers and magazines have “the marginally longerattention span necessary to track trends,” Radosh writes.Another part of the problem lies within the very concept of the trend: “today’s star,” “the latest craze,”“so yesterday.”The media is encouraged to jump the gun. To call the shot. But the media does its audience a disservicewhen it rushes to judgment without seeking proof.Concept stories, such as the trend story, don’t require many sources, or much news development — justa peculiar observation from an editor who announces during a news meeting that two Thai restaurantsopened up near his house and it warrants a story.Often, the sighting of a celebrity buying soup is enough to splash trend headlines all over the frontpage, and if not there, the lifestyle section.“Truth and information that’s verifiable,” make for a good trend story, Shafer said toPoynter.
Yet, when the truth is unmasked, without hard facts to correct, newspapers rarely run a correction ontrend stories.It’s one thing for a newspaper to run a “what’s hot/what’s not” column, where a columnist mighthypothesize on an observation. It’s quite another when the New York Times runs “Crime Blotter Has aRegular: Yankees Caps” on Page One, yet produces little to no hard evidence the connection existsbetween the Yankees and crime.The fortune telling is better left to trend-spotters. “Trend-spotting — the art and science of identifyingnew trends and predicting future trends — is a booming industry filled by a swelling rank of newprofessionals who go by a grab bag of titles,” wrote Tom Maurstad in aDallas Morning News articlecharting the explosion at the turn of the century.It’s the stock market. It’s gambling. It’s tarot cards. Their findings are hit and miss. “One of the manychallenges confronting any aspiring trend-spotter is separating all the meaningless fads from themeaningful expressions of some underlying trend,” wrote Maurstad.If trendsetters, who devote their careers to exploring the misty field of trends, often get it wrong, howcan reporters expect to always get it right?“Seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues,” is the duty ofjournalists, reads the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. Trend stories should offer noreprieve.
Humurous Feature• It entertains the reader with a story that is full of wit and humor.
Personal Experience• It features unusual experience written in the first person.
Powers of the HarpWritten by: Ashley Powers When I was 10 years old, I walked into a church in Frederick at Christmas time and saw a group of harpists performing Christmas music on the altar. Right there, well, that’s where it all began. I had already learned how to play the flute and the trumpet by then, but I knew at that very moment that I wanted, at some point in my life, to play the harp. Seven years later, on December 31, 2008, I turned 17. And on the day that I became able to legally watch rated R movies, my dad gave me a 36 stringed lever harp. My immediate reaction: “OH MY GOD!” I then pulled out my cell phone and immediately texted Mr. Briggs to tell him to sign me up for “dorkestra.” I already knew that we were going to tackle Gustav Mahler’s Second Symphony this year, and I had been planning on playing trumpet for it. I was upset that the beautiful harp piece of the music was not going to be played. So when that stringed instrument that is larger than me became mine, Mr. Briggs gave me the music and I began a war. Okay, so it wasn’t quite a war, but it was a battle. To put things in perspective, The New York Philharmonic plays Mahler’s Second. The BSO may tackle it. Sometimes, a college symphony orchestra goes for it. High school bands, well that just doesn’t happen.
Granted, we did only play the fourth and fifth movements, but we only started it secondsemester and this undertaking was a great enough challenge.Some questioned Mr. Briggs’ sanity for actually assigning this. After looking at the music, I couldsee where the critics were coming from. I lost sleep at night as I tried to figure out how exactly toplay 28 notes in one and a half beats and 11 notes at once with only ten fingers.When I arrived at my first harp lesson, I was told that you only use eight of your fingers to playthe harp anyway. I couldn’t play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on the harp if you asked me to, but I canplay Mahler’s Second Symphony. I dove into music that was normally for professional harpists,knowing nothing and learning everything about technique, a crucial part of playing the harp. But Ididn’t give up. Such was the attitude of those who played this piece. While no one elselearned a totally new instrument for Mahler like I did, everyone had to push themselves way pasttheir limits. I have to say it paid off. Minutes before the performance, I hauled my harp on stage in aformal dress (not such an easy feat, let me tell you), sat down, and began to tune all 36 strings, oneby one. I was nervous, so it took longer than usual. In the end, I had no need to be. While I played, itfelt just as it did when there wasn’t a packed audience in front of me. The thing about grand piecesof music, like Mahler’s Second Symphony, is that when you’re playingit, you really become part of the music. Everything else is forgotten but the notes on the page.Exhilaration doesn’t quite describe it, but it comes close. By the time the final note was played, I was grinning, and the energy on stage was tangible.Now that it’s all over, we’re sad to see it go, but already looking forward to the next musical experience. The new challenge is to top that, to take things to a new level. Maybe next year the music department will play all five movements.As for me? Well, I’m learning “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
How-to Feature Article• It explains a process or method, usually accompanied by illustration or photos.