A newspaper is like a treasure house. It is one document that has all types and kinds of content in it, from fresh news updates to sports news, from page 3 gossips to political/city news. It even has the entertainment section which includes game puzzles, Sudoku, comic strips, zodiac predictions, etc. For the sake of this article, we will be dealing with two sections of the newspaper, namely: news report and a feature report.
Both the news report and the feature are news stories that contain facts and information and yet both of them are different. What exactly is the difference between a news report and a feature report then?
A news report is basically a general reporting of an event that has occurred. The report is filled with facts and information. It usually contains answers to all the “5 W’s” i.e. Why, Where, What, Who and How. The event that is covered in a news report is fresh and current. News reports include certain beats such as crime, politics, education, sports, etc.
The main purpose of a news story is to inform the people what is happening around them. It generally follows a pattern known as ‘The Inverted Pyramid’ which means writing the facts and information in the order of its importance. The main information at the beginning of the article means people can get the gist of the news report at a quick glance, thus ensuring good use of their time.
Also, with the increasing need and demand of advertisements in the newspaper, there is hardly any space available to accommodate many. Sometimes in order to accommodate an advertisement, there is always the danger of the news article being chopped from the bottom. Hence, ‘The Inverted Pyramid’ format is followed.
The news report has a headline, an introducing paragraph, the body of the news covering the main questions pertaining to the “5 W’s” and the tail paragraph. The average words range between 700 to 1200 words. News stories also contain at least one of the following important characteristics relative to the intended audience: proximity, prominence, timeliness, human interest, oddity, or consequence. The personal opinion of the writer or reporter is not expressed in the news report.
Feature news on the other hand also contains factual information like that of news report. However the feature news is not necessarily fresh or current news. A good feature goes deeper than just a press release as it thoroughly explores an issue from all direction. The feature news consists of quotes from important people pertaining to the story of the feature news. It analyses the events, ask pertinent questions and seeks answers. It does not merely report, it ponders. The writer or reporter gives his opinions in a feature piece. Different writers follow different styles of writing news features. This very difference in every news feature makes it unique in its own way. The average words in a feature news range between 2000 to 2500 words.
Both, news report and features complete the newspaper copy that is delivered to your doorstep daily. One is quite handicapped without the other