Feature story

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A feature story at PhysicsWiki is a special popular interest story article that is not closely tied to a recent news event. It focuses on particular people, places, and events, and it goes into great detail regarding concepts and ideas of specific interest.

Published features and news

While the distinction between published features and news is often clear, when approached conceptually there are few hard boundaries between the two. It is quite possible to write a feature in the style of a news story, for instance. Nevertheless, features do tend to take a more narrative approach, perhaps using opening paragraphs as scene-setting narrative hooks instead of the delivery of the most important facts.


In The Universal Journalist,[1] David Randall suggests the following categories of feature:

Colour piece
Describing a scene and throw light on its theme.
Fly on the wall


Behind the scenes
Similar to the above, but with the journalist a part of events.
In disguise
Pretending to be another person (see Ryan Parry[2]).


An examination of a particular person. Will often include an interview.
This type of article assists readers by explaining how to do something (and the writer may learn about the topic through research, experience, or interviews with experts on the topic).[3]
Fact box / Chronology
A simple list of facts, perhaps in date order.
Backgrounder / A history of
An extended fact box.
Full texts
Extracts from books or transcripts of interviews.
My testimony
A first-person report of some kind.
An examination of the reasons behind an event.
Vox pop / Expert roundup
A selection of views from members of the public or experts.
Opinion poll




Further reading

  • Garrison, Bruce: Professional Feature Writing. Routledge, 5th edition 2009. ISBN 978-0415998970