Essentials of Feature Writing - JN518

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
5 15 (7.5) MR R Bailey


JN304 Introduction to Reporting
JN305 Essentials of Reporting
JN519 Introduction to Feature Writing


Exam in May/June makes this unsuitable for short term students who may already be out of the country at this time.



Develop a deeper understanding of how feature writers tailor content to suit defined readerships and publications. How and why opinion is used by journalists in a range of articles, including reviews and columns. How defamation law and the Editors' Code of Practice guide the use of opinion in features. How journalists create distinctive, compelling narratives in columns, reviews and travel pieces including the selection of angles and use of language. The importance of photography and other visual elements as storytelling tools. Writing styles of notable feature writers and interviewers. How the internet has changed the output of reviewers and columnists. Research tools used by feature writers. Carrying out original research.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 24
Private Study Hours: 126
Total Study Hours: 150


Spring Term

Method of assessment

Review article (500 words) – 20%
Feature Article (1,000 words) – 40%
Examination: two hours – 40%

Indicative reading

Barber, L. (2014), A Curious Career, Bloomsbury
Ebert, R. (2000), I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie, Andrews McMeel
Harcup T (2009), Journalism Principles and Practice, Sage Publications
Keeble, R. and Reeves, I. (2014), The Newspapers Handbook, Routledge
Kermode, M. (2014), Hatchet Job, Picador
Randall D (2011), The Universal Journalist, Pluto Books

Learning outcomes

1. Reinforce and apply the key reporting and writing skills learned in 'Introduction to Reporting' and 'Essentials of Reporting'
2. Develop a deeper understanding of feature content across a wide range of publications and the importance of knowing your audience
3. Critically explore the writing styles of notable contemporary feature writers and reviewers
4. Understand how to develop valid feature ideas with reference to the current news agenda and an understanding of news values
5. Research using a range of primary and secondary sources, including published work, the internet and interviews
6. Understand the ethical and legal principles that underpin the use of opinion in journalism
7. Understand the principles of conducting in depth interviews and study the work of contemporary interviewers
8. apply the principles of news writing and feature writing to produce columns, reviews and travel articles for a defined audience

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