Week 5: Learning how to write feature articles

Jan and Yousif writing up their articles.

Jan and Yousif writing up their articles.

By Billy

This week we have learnt about how to write features, by our special guest tutor and freelance journalist Veronique Mistiaen.

Veronique spent Thursday morning teaching us the key points to writing features and explained the differences between a feature and a news story. After we went to interview this weeks social enterprises she guided us through each step in the process of writing one.

For the interviews we were paired up again this week, with one half of each pair taking on photography duties.  Sean and Sharon visited an organisation called Each One Teach One, where Sean interviewed their director, Sarah McLoughin and Sharon took photographs to accompany their feature.  Sam and Ian went to Generation Hackney and Sam interviewed Richard Hearn, while Ian was the days photographer.  Jan and myself met the dapper Tom Beechcroft, The Jaunty Flaneur’s director and  Jan took on the  interview duties and I took the photos.

Back at base we had a further informative talk from Veronique and then began work transcribing and writing up interviews, and selecting the photographs we would use. I learnt that feature writing is distinctly different from news writing and therefore requires different skills, which I sensed already as a reader but it was great to examine this in more detail and learn about it from a writer’s perspective.

We only have one week left of the course now (boo hoo!), and will spend next week learning about how to promote ourselves as writers.  After that who knows what the future will hold?

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