Feature story

A feature story is a piece of non-fiction writing about news. A feature story is a type of soft news. The main sub-types are the news feature and the human-interest story.
A feature story is distinguished from other types of non-news by the quality of the writing. Stories should be memorable for their reporting, crafting, creativity, and economy of expression.


A feature story, as contrasted with straight news reporting, normally presents newsworthy events and information through a narrative story, complete with a plot and story characters. It differs from a short story primarily in that the content is not fictional. Like literature, the feature story relies upon creativity and subjectivity to make an emotional connection with the readers and may highlight some universal aspect of human nature. Unlike straight news, the feature story serves the purpose of entertaining the readers, in addition to informing them. Although truthful and based up good facts, they are less objective than straight news.
Unlike straight news, the subject of a feature story is usually not time sensitive. It generally features good news.
Feature stories are usually written in active voice, with an emphasis on lively, entertaining prose. Some forms, such as a color story, uses description as the main mode.

Published features and news

Feature stories are stories with only one feature, but are creative and true. 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 story in the style of a news story. 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. A feature story can be in a news article, a newspaper, and even online.


In The Universal Journalist, David Randall suggests the following categories of feature:
;Colour piece
;Fly on the wall
;Behind the scenes
;In disguise/undercover
;Fact box / Chronology
;Backgrounder / A history of
;Full texts
;My testimony
;Vox pop / Expert roundup
;Opinion poll
Among sports writers, feature stories tend to be either human-interest stories or personality profiles of sports figures. A profile presents information about a person, but it differs from a biography by focusing on the person's personality or anecdotes, rather than the factual data about birth, education, or major achievements.