If the journalist were writing a news story, it might begin something like this:
Twenty-one teachers from across eastern South Dakota gathered at the University of South Dakota June 14-July 1 to learn techniques used to teach writing. The rest of the story would continue this pattern with the most important information always taking precedence over the less important information, even if it is more interesting. This is a basic news lead. It gives the facts— the who, what, when, where, why and how of the story.
If this were to be written as a feature story, however, the lead might look more like this:
Teacher Jason Lueth cried as he composed a poem about his grandmother at the keyboard of a Macintosh computer in the basement of the University of South Dakota Arts and Sciences building recently. The purpose of this feature lead is to draw the reader in— that is, to make him or her curious. What was he crying about? Why in a computer lab? I want to know more!
We are going to write about an individual in pure feature fashion.
After the feature lead is written, move on to compose the rest of the story. A feature may take nearly any format, but should be written in third person with many first person quotes, as in any news story.