Feature Formats

A great slogan is "people come for the news but stay for the features." 
The features tempt readers to stay longer on a publications website. They add bulk. But without studying them people just generally think a feature is a feature and that they're all the same thing. But magazines use their own journalism jargon and the word 'feature' doesn't even exist.

Instead we establish that there are different formats within a magazine... You wouldn't approach an editor and say "I have an idea for a feature.'- They want you to be more detailed and tell them what format you have in mind.
 In magazines every feature is defined by it's format. 

There are several formats: 

    • A Confessional interview: written in first person voice. A person tells their story, usually something hard hitting. 
    • Consumer Reviews: The writer reviews products. 
    • Pictures/Fashion: This is photo led. 
    • Comment: All opinions. Debate is usually the best 
    • Feature interview: An interview with someone where you want to hear their views.
    • Documentary: A video documenting an event 
    • News Feature: To find a 'peg' ( a link to a news story) followed by comment about it. Usually you see these as a bunch of 'clippings' or a wrap up. 
    • Profiles: People mix these up with a 'feature interview' only with profiles there is no interview. A profile is like a CV.. It contains no comment from the person it only contains facts about them. It's like a living obituary for a person. 
    • Arts Review: Reviewing movies etc. 
    • Investigations: Where the journalist initiates the stories- not like scheduled news events like court/parliament. 
    • Observational: Gonzo journalism like Tom Wolfe and Louis Theroux 
    • Response: 
Features are all the editorial matter in a newspaper/magazine/radio/TV. They are factual but it's not news. Features are important for setting the tone. 

The barkers are the hooks to draw people in.

News VS Features:

News is:
  • 'Telling' the facts. 
  • Brief summary 
  • Aimed at a whole audience- effecting the most possible audience numbers
  • Length varies depending on importance 
  • Defined styles 
  • Published instantly 
But features: 
  • Seeing and showing. 
  • Lengthy and detailed. Especially comment or reviews. But usually the picture is the important factor. The words are there to separate the pictures- This is especially true with fashion magazines. 
  • Aimed at niche sections of readership
  • Low writing status on fashion magazines all photo led. 
  • Length is fixed  by editorial structure/TV Radio. 
  • Many styles 
  • Published according to schedule

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