chapter  11
26 Pages

Wordcraft

ByMatthew Ricketson, Caroline Graham

One of the pleasures of features is that they can be written in a much broader range of styles and tones than straight news. The closer a type of feature is to news—backgrounders, news features—the more its tone resembles the institutional voice, but the institutional voice is a dull companion over more than about 800 words. Readers dislike numbers and acronyms because an act of translation is needed to understand them. Both are essential in many stories, so supply the reader with a foreign language dictionary. Over-attribution and under-attribution are both problems in feature stories: the former because journalists interview more people for features than for hard news and try to squeeze in every source; the latter because journalists traditionally are chary of sourcing other media outlets or books. BuzzSumo, Social Mention and Social Searcher offer simple ways to search across most social media platforms at once for content, trends and analytics.