America’s Best Newspaper Writing: Chapter 7, Profile and Feature Writing: Top-10

1. Keep in mind that features and profiles, are a fading art — avoid making them yellow journalism.

2. Find the human being behind the celebrity, celebrate the life of common men.

3. Be a hard worker, a good listener. Connect with your source and don’t betray their trust.

4. Be empathetic, passionate, energetic. Go get the story, then tell it fairly, thoroughly and effectively.

5. Have the ability to write long and short: take advantage of new media.

6. Keep in mind that, ultimately, people want to read about people.

7. Take on the voice of your subject; make the style and sound of the story match who’s being written about.

8. Detail, detail, detail. This comes from observation.

9. Have a good working relationship with your editor. They will help shape the story. And if you’re good, it may not end up online prematurely.

10. Go find the stories organically. Don’t wait for them to come to you.


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