How to Write a Feature Story for a School Newspaper
A feature story is usually the longest article in your newspaper, above 1000 words. Typically, you only want to have one of them per issue. It is a blend of a news article with a bit of interpretation of the facts without giving an opinion as to what the solution should be.
It can be written like a News Article, but it does more than just report the news. It interprets the news. It makes predictions on the consequences of the event or action being reported. It provides a reader with a clearer understanding, hopefully, of the long term effects of the subject of your article.
For example, if the principal of your school institutes a new dress code policy, a feature article on the subject might include (in no particular order):
- The facts of the new dress code (the who, why, where, what, when, and how).
- A prediction on how it will be received by the student body and the staff and faculty.
- Predictions of potential problems the dress code might create.
- Comparison to other schools with similar dress codes.
- An analysis of the reasons behind the new dress code.
- Quotes from various sources.
- References to other articles from other reputable sources on dress codes.
- An analysis of problems the dress code is supposed to solve and if it will be effective based on data supplied by other schools doing something similar.
Like most news articles, you start with all the important facts first so that your readers don’t have to guess what the articles is about or why you’re writing it:
Tomorrow, the principal’s new and stricter dress code will go into effect school wide. Among the newly banned clothing items are gang colors and short shorts. All students have by now signed an agreement to abide by the new dress code, and teachers have been tasked with the responsibility of enforcing the new requirements. This new code does, however, come with some unintended consequences that the administration may not have considered.
This answers most of the main questions, and from here a feature article can launch into the analysis and predictions as to the outcome of the new dress code policy. Take the reader on a journey of in-depth analysis and thought. You want your article to be thought provoking, but also very thorough, covering as many angles as you can. End with a concluding paragraph that wraps up the most salient points of your article.
A feature story is the main, front-page article found on your newspaper. It should have the largest title, the most compelling images, and provoke the most thought and discussion.
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