Introduction to Feature Writing - JN519

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


JOUR3040 (JN304) Introduction to Reporting
JOUR3050 (JN305) Essentials in Reporting

This module is a pre-requisite for:
JOUR5180 (JN518) Essentials of Feature Writing


Exam in May/June may not make this module suitable for short course students who may already be out of the country at this time.



The difference between news stories and features. A range of different feature styles including news reactive features, interviews, reviews and columns. A range of UK and international publications. Understanding how features are targeted at different readerships, and the range of styles employed by feature writers. Writing styles of notable feature writers. The tradition of feature and non-fiction writing in the UK and America and analysing the styles of key writers. Research tools used by feature writers and carrying out original research. How feature writers respond to the news agenda to develop timely, original and compelling articles. How to pitch feature ideas to editors.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

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


Autumn Term

Method of assessment

Column article (1,000 words) – 40%
Pitch (300 words) – 10%
Presentation (15 minutes) – 10%
Examination: two hours – 40%

Indicative reading

Brooker C (2007), Dawn of the Dumb, Faber and Faber
Harcup T (2009), Journalism Principles and Practice, Sage Publications
Moran C (2013), Moranthology, Ebury
Randall D (2011), The Universal Journalist, Pluto Books
Thompson H S (2012), Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone, Penguin
Wallace D F (2005), Consider the Lobster, Abacus
Wolfe T (2005), The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine Flake Streamine Baby, Vintage
Wolfe T (ed) (1975) The New Journalism, Picador

Learning outcomes

1. Continually reinforce and apply the key reporting and writing skills learned in 'Introduction to Reporting' and 'Essentials of Reporting'
2. Understand the difference between news stories, features, opinion columns and reviews
3. Understand the feature content of newspapers, magazines and supplements and be familiar with the different styles of a wide range of titles
4. Critically explore the writing styles of notable contemporary feature writers
5. Understand how to develop valid feature ideas with reference to the current news agenda and an understanding of news values
6. research using a range of primary and secondary sources, including published work, the internet and interviews
7. apply the techniques of news writing and feature writing to produce original content aimed at a specific audience

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