Article Writing Tips: News Story vs Feature Story – What’s the Difference?
A good set of article writing tips must explain the difference between a news story and a feature story.
Because a news article and a feature article are two different kinds of content.
But plenty of writers confuse them.
And that’s a no-no. Both news articles and feature articles are standard fare in magazines, newspapers, newsletters and yes, blogs.
You don’t want to deliver a full-fledged feature when your client, an editor, or a publication asks for a news story. And vice versa.
So here’s the gist:
- A news story reports the facts about an event.
- A feature story explains the significance of an event. It offers analysis.
Use these additional article writing tips to get the mechanics straight as you write news stories and feature stories.
Article Writing Tips: Writing a News Story versus Writing a Feature Story
- A news article is time-sensitive and of immediate interest. Think election results, an accident, a robbery report, a product launch, a court verdict, a medical report release, a set of basketball game scores.
- A feature article can be published at any point. Its content is often evergreen or at least lasting.
- A news article reports the facts: who, what, where, when, why, and how. It is written in a straightforward, concise reporting style.
- A feature article is a human interest story about a person, event, or place. Rather than simply summarizing the subject, a feature article highlights one aspect or significance of the story. Its less formal style may take an odd twist or heartwarming angle.
- A news story is structured in the inverted pyramid format with key facts at the beginning of the article . This way the reader can get basic information in the first sentence or two.
- A feature story allows the subject matter to determine its format, whether in a standard outline form (such as a list, sequence, or comparison) or one of the 7 main story formats. As for subject matter, features cover endless topics from profiles to narratives, interviews, essays, exposes, how-to's, columns, and reviews.
- News articles are short, averaging 100-400 words depending upon the type of news and where it is placed in the publication. They are meant to be digested quickly.
- Feature articles are longer and dig more deeply into the topic. Length varies for each publication, but a typical feature word count runs between 1,000 – 2,000 words.
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