7 examples of engaging feature stories
Kimberlee Meier — Contributing Writer
There are two dominant trends in content on the web today.
The first is that content is getting shorter. With the rise of TikTok and the ongoing importance of other social media platforms, brands need to be adept at producing shortform content.
But the second dominant trend — forgive the contradiction — is that content outside of social media is actually getting longer. As we explain in our guide to longform content , media and marketing teams are increasingly investing in longer, professionally produced content to capture and keep their reader's attention.
The main type of longform content they are investing in is the feature article or feature story. Following the lead of major news publications, these teams are creating truly engaging and immersive multimedia content.
Take, for example, Los fogones de la Kitchen . This illustrated news story from El Periódico covers an illegal operation to spy on a Spanish politician. With animations triggered by the scroll of the reader, it is an interactive and powerful example of modern feature storytelling.
What do the BBC, Tripadvisor, and Penguin have in common? They craft stunning, interactive web content with Shorthand. And so can you! Publish your first story for free — no code or web design skills required. Sign up now.
In this guide, we're going to run through 7 examples of feature stories to inspire your own content strategy. These examples are informative, entertaining, and visually appealing—just what a brand needs to keep people’s attention.
We'll also cover what goes into creating a great feature story, and how to learn from those who are doing them well.
Ready to learn how to create captivating feature stories of your own? Let's get started.
What is a feature story?
A feature story is a piece of longform non-fiction content that covers a single topic in detail. Examples of feature stories include news features, in-depth profiles, human interest stories, science communication , data storytelling , and more.
Feature stories are a common type of content for news organisations, particularly those who invest in longform journalism .
Increasingly, brands are also investing in producing their own high-quality feature stories. One example comes from analytics company RELX, who published a powerful overview of the purpose behind their Eyewitness to Atrocities app.
How are feature stories changing?
A decade ago, most feature stories on the web were visually uninteresting. Usually, they would be digital versions of print articles, with the same images and copy.
With recent improvements in internet speed and browsers — coupled with the rise of more advanced content creation platforms — we're seeing a dramatic increase in visually immersive multimedia feature articles.
These stories use a combination of high-resolution, full-bleed images, video, illustrations, and scrollytelling to sustain the attention of digital readers. Often, these stories are created with digital storytelling platforms , which are empowering feature writers to create stunning interactive content without writing a line of code.
Now, let's dive into our examples👇
7 examples of stunning feature stories
1 Arab News
When Arab News decided to showcase Saudi Arabia's UNESCO's World Heritage sites, a standard longform article wasn’t going to cut it.
So, the news agency decided to tell it as a feature story powered by digital elements like maps, video, historical pictures, and illustrations.
Each of the five UNESCO sites located in Saudi Arabia is given its own section. This room allowed Arab News the room to explain, in detail, the history of each site and what it looks like today.
Although the piece is long, it does give the UNESCO sites the space and in-depth reporting to turn this into a stunning example of a feature story.
In the 1930s, America's Federal Government enacted redlining policies that segregated Black and white citizens with homeownership.
Despite the Supreme Court ruling in 1948 that racial bias in deed restrictions was illegal, Detroit remains one of the most segregated cities in the country. To tell this important story, NBC News created an immersive and interactive feature story out of images and video to showcase the issue of segregation in modern Detroit.
The mix of data, visuals, video, and interviews with citizens who grew up in segregated neighborhoods make this feature story a compelling read.
3 Pioneers Post
In the race to combat climate change, the citizens of Gambia—one of Africa's smallest countries—realised that the clock is ticking.
So, the locals and family farmers living on the north bank of the Gambia river took matters into their own hands and created plans to reforest an 8,000km stretch of land.
Not only does this Pioneers Post feature story do a fantastic job at highlighting the plight of the villagers and their project to revive the environment, but it also explains the impact of global warming on their area with maps and visuals.
4 Hoover Institute
As a society, we are fascinated by each other's cultures. And more often than not, governments are involved in telling stories about what those cultures look like.
Women in Chinese Propaganda by the Hoover Institute takes a deeper look at how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) depicted women in the early days of its regime. Using a mix of illustrations, history, and interactive features, the reader is plunged into the story the regime told the world about how its women lived in the 1950s.
The feature story also talks about the ties the propaganda has to cultural products, like plays and operas, as well as how marriage was depicted in the early days of the CCP.
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When an apartment building in La Villeneuve, France, caught fire in 2020, two children were trapped in the inferno.
As villagers watched on, the scene grew desperate—until a group of local citizens came up with a solution: the children would jump, and the citizens would catch them.
The BBC detailed the events of that day and accounts of the hero citizens who saved the children's lives in their interactive feature story, The Catch .
Using a mix of illustrations, photographs, and interviews from people involved in the life-saving rescue, the feature story succeeds in putting the reader inside the events that unfolded.
The story paints an uncomfortable truth: just ten days after the French President called for some foreign-born residents to be stripped of their citizenship—immigrants were rescuing children.
Another feature story focusing on climate change, WaterAid tells the story of people facing harsh environmental conditions in Malawi, Africa.
The story digs deep—using full-screen photographs, statistics, and quotes from climate change scientists about the changing environment for the people living there. WaterAid is using this piece to encourage people to fight climate change. So, it's fitting that the piece ends with a simple ask: Join #OurClimateFight .
7 Sky News
The final feature story on our list is Sky News' celebration of WNBA's 25th season.
The story, From ‘We Got Next’ to ‘Next Steps' , has a tonne of embedded items to keep the reader interested. Sky News uses a mix of embedded Tweets, photographs, and videos to showcase WNBA's history from those who have been part of it.
And like the Water Aid feature story, Sky News wraps its piece up by adding a call-to-action, encouraging readers to follow the WNBA's progress on its YouTube and cable television channels.
Ready to start creating your own amazing feature stories?
Content creators and news agencies have stepped up their storytelling game and are going above and beyond to capture (and keep) their audience's attention.
Slapping a 3000-word story into WordPress isn't enough to keep your reader engaged anymore (no matter how interesting the topic is.) Thanks to the rise of social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, users now expect feature stories to be more engaging and capture their imagination.
The good news is that creating these stories no longer means you have to learn how to code or hire an (expensive) developer. Content creators can build exciting, in-depth feature stories that embed elements like images, data illustrations, videos, and social media feeds using a tool like Shorthand.
So, what are you waiting for—are you ready to start creating stories that will take your readers on a journey?
Kimberlee Meier is a B2B/SaaS Content Writer who also helps start-ups fuel their growth through quality, evergreen content.
Publish your first story free with Shorthand
Craft sumptuous content at speed. No code required.
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Student Journalism You might find some inspiring ideas here. The article below, from The Red and Black, the University of Georgia's online student news source, is a good example of an excellent topic for student journalism.
The 100 best feature articles ever written -- according to some read at least one. what do you think.
- Class Documents
- Feature Article Unit
- Mystery Unit
Feature Article Unit Examples
Four Main Characteristics of a Feature Article o Have a focused topic - Feature articles focus narrowly on a specific person, place, event or phenomenon and not a general subject. o Provide a new angle – Feature articles are clearly written from a particular perspective. They often tell the human side of a story, allowing the reader to understand events or phenomena through stories of individuals involved in the topic. Many times this human side is noticeable right from the beginning in the article's lead. o Have “features” - Feature articles often include bold titles, catchy headings, photos, captions and other graphics. However, not all texts that have “features” are feature articles. o Go in-depth – Feature articles go into their topic in detail. They try to bring the reader a more complete understanding than what might be gained through a simple news summary.
Example of a Feature Article Topic Topic: Bullying Angle: There is an increase of bullying in schools. What I know about my topic: Bullying is cruel; it hurts people’s feelings and lowers their self-esteem. Many students are scared of people who bully them. They feel like they are at the bottom of the food chain. Most children that are bullied are afraid to tell anyone. Sometimes they are so afraid that they don’t come to school. This causes them to lie to their parents about being sick or hurt to prevent from going to school. Sometimes people who are bullied they will bully other people to take their anger out on others. My personal experience with bullying: When I was in junior high school there was a girl who came to my house and threatened to fight me. She said she didn’t like me and would tap dance all over my face. I was not a fighter so I was very scared.
1.4a: Editor’s Conference When journalists get ready to write a feature article, they meet with their editor to make sure the topic is a good one to write about. Prepare for your editor’s conference by answering the following questions about your topic. Topic: 1. Why is this topic interesting to you? 2. What personal experience do you have with this topic? 3 . Is your perspective, or angle, new? Explain. 4. Will you be able to find information about your topic? Where? 5. Is your topic narrow enough?
WEBSITE SEARCH QUESTIONS -Who sponsors this site? What is the URL? .com? .edu? .net? -Is this site trying to sell something? -Does this site have a political agenda? -Who writes for this site? Are the facts on this site from reputable people and other sources? -Is there a date on the site? When was it last updated?
Feature Article Unit Handouts
How to write a feature story for a school newspaper.
A feature story is usually the longest article in your newspaper, above 1000 words. Typically, you only want to have one of them per issue. It is a blend of a news article with a bit of interpretation of the facts without giving an opinion as to what the solution should be.
It can be written like a News Article , but it does more than just report the news. It interprets the news. It makes predictions on the consequences of the event or action being reported. It provides a reader with a clearer understanding, hopefully, of the long term effects of the subject of your article.
For example, if the principal of your school institutes a new dress code policy, a feature article on the subject might include (in no particular order):
- The facts of the new dress code (the who, why, where, what, when, and how).
- A prediction on how it will be received by the student body and the staff and faculty.
- Predictions of potential problems the dress code might create.
- Comparison to other schools with similar dress codes.
- An analysis of the reasons behind the new dress code.
- Quotes from various sources.
- References to other articles from other reputable sources on dress codes.
- An analysis of problems the dress code is supposed to solve and if it will be effective based on data supplied by other schools doing something similar.
Like most news articles, you start with all the important facts first so that your readers don’t have to guess what the articles is about or why you’re writing it:
Tomorrow, the principal’s new and stricter dress code will go into effect school wide. Among the newly banned clothing items are gang colors and short shorts. All students have by now signed an agreement to abide by the new dress code, and teachers have been tasked with the responsibility of enforcing the new requirements. This new code does, however, come with some unintended consequences that the administration may not have considered.
This answers most of the main questions, and from here a feature article can launch into the analysis and predictions as to the outcome of the new dress code policy. Take the reader on a journey of in-depth analysis and thought. You want your article to be thought provoking, but also very thorough, covering as many angles as you can. End with a concluding paragraph that wraps up the most salient points of your article.
A feature story is the main, front-page article found on your newspaper. It should have the largest title, the most compelling images, and provoke the most thought and discussion.
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Newsmoor.com is an educational website for online learning. It Provides information: on verbal and nonverbal communication elements, noise, models, and theories, print, broadcast, and online journalism, and feature article writing. It also includes business models, theories, plans, profile examples, advantages and disadvantages of several models, facts, research methodology, research proposal writing, assignment writing, a study abroad, including top public and private universities and educational consultants.
Feature Articles Examples and Samples For Students PDF
Feature Articles Examples for Students PDF. Feature Writing Example For Students. How to Write a Feature Story.
A feature article refers to the human-interest story in mass media, including newspapers, magazines, blogs, and websites. It is a journalistic report but not opinion or editorial writing. The fundamental objective of the feature articles is to educate and entertain people, concentrating on certain people, locations, events, and expertise. For example, a travel feature article focuses on a particular location and describes why tourists should visit the place. The profile feature article also represents a person’s lifestyle, hobby, profession, recognition, and goal. There are many types of feature articles. The seven most common feature articles in journalism are profile, travel, round-up, how-to, personal experience, review, and obituary.
The feature article is soft news, so writers take enough time to study the topic to publish it. Journalists research, gather information and convey a descriptive and meaningful message through feature articles about the original ideas. However, journalists intend to publish hard news quickly in print media . Hard news cannot adequately explain the event’s background due to the lack of preparation and time.
How Long Should a Feature Article Be?
- A feature article should be 500 to 2500 words in length for newspapers.
- A feature article should be 500 to 5000 words in length for Magazine.
Feature Articles Examples for Students
Today, the author explains how to write a feature article for students in journalism. This article also mentions seven steps to writing feature stories. The writers must prepare before writing the feature article and follow the steps thoroughly to yield a thoughtful article.
The Steps To Write a Feature Article
The seven steps to writing a feature article are as follows:
- Select the Topic
- Target Audience
- Research the Topic
- Outline the Steps
- Start the Writing Process
- Propose Recommendation and Caution
- Edit and Proofread
1. Select the Topic
Firstly, the writers have to select the subject topic in which they can generate a meaningful feature article. It is significant to set a title as part of the pre-writing article. So, the author suggests the writers choose a topic they are interested in studying. Additionally, the writers must have a good idea and experience with the topics. For example, if the writers like to travel to tourist areas and know how to describe a tourist place. It will undoubtedly help them to set the feature article’s topic based on travel experiences. Therefore, selecting a topic is a crucial and initial step in writing a feature article in journalism.
2. Target Audience
Target audience is the second stage of making a feature article. It is another essential fact; it is useless if nobody reads the story. For example, the youths show more interest in topics related to social media. In contrast, they might offer less interest in the feature article relevant to cooking recipes. However, the restaurant owners and cooks show more interest in cooking instructions. So, the writer must set the topic based on the target audiences who will read the articles. The researchers suggest following geographic, demographic, and psychographic factors when targeting the audiences.
3. Research the Topic
Research on the topic means studying the issue in depth to collect more information. So, writers should take enough time to research the case before writing the feature article. It isn’t easy to write a thoughtful story without providing precious information. The research assists journalists in discovering sources. Authentic sources help verify information authentication, such as statistic reports, quotes by a well-known person, and references from TV, newspapers, radio, and journals. Hence, research on the topic is significant in making the article more valuable and believable.
4. Outline the Steps
The outline of the steps means sketching all stages that the writer plans to complete thoroughly. The writers should make a rough draft of how to write a complete feature story mentioning all steps of feature writing. This outline certainly helps to determine how many steps writers need to complete and how many have already been done. It also discovers the strengths and weaknesses of the writers. So they can take the additional initiative to overcome weaknesses. The best way to outline the stages is by using transitional verbs or highlighting points with number sequences. After all, it has appeared as an essential step in feature writing.
5. Start the Writing Process
The writers start to write the feature article in this stage. Therefore, it is the most significant part of feature writing. In the first paragraph, they should introduce the feature so readers can understand the topic’s essence. In addition, journalists explain the advantages of reading this article; therefore, they use catchy sentences to attract audiences. For example, journalists must explain what kind of adverse consequences the audience can encounter by hacking if they want to write a feature article about how to stop hacking Facebook IDs. So it triggers them to read the full article.
Moreover, the researcher suggests writing one paragraph for each section and never messing up one part with other parts. The writer should remember that readers are not aware of the writing process. So, it will be difficult for them if they do not write one paragraph in each section. For example, journalists should mention “how to open a Facebook ID” before instructing them to protect Facebook from hacking.
Furthermore, the writers should use chronological order to clarify every step to the readers. For example, they should mention steps one, two, and three of the article for better understanding. They also need to use action verbs to describe steps, such as apply, write, cut, mix, use, change, etc.
Finally, the writers should ensure that the article is simple and friendly. So, they need to stop using irrelevant information and make it assertive.
6. Add Recommendations and Caution
If necessary, the journalists should propose suggestions and cautions when necessary. The readers might consider the writer less informative if they do not offer recommendations. It is a fundamental duty to add a warning if there have any possible dangers in the process of the article. For example, the writers suggest wearing winter dresses to keep warm when writing the travelogue feature article representing cold places, including Antarctica, Russia, Iceland, Canada, and the United States.
7. Edit and Proofread
The final step of feature writing is editing and proofreading. It means revising the article again and again before publishing it for the readers. The writers should read the article loudly in front of friends and employees to verify it. They need to brainstorm to dig out more questions and find the answer. Students can edit the article only; because proofreading is expensive. However, the editors must proofread the article before publishing it in print media such as newspapers and magazines. The researchers suggested some common questions for writers that they can ask. The questions are as follows: do they understand the process, are there any steps missing, and is there anything else to add?
The author includes two feature article examples for students. These examples incorporate the seven steps to writing a feature article . Therefore, this feature article example must assist students, writers, journalists, and employees in teaching how to write a feature story.
Travelogue Feature Writing Examples
Film Review Writing on 3 Idiots
The seven steps to write a feature article are: s elect the topic, target audience, research the topic, outline the steps, start the writing process and propose recommendations and cautions, and edit and Proofread. People read feature articles to earn more knowledge on certain events. Sometimes, the audiences read feature writing to get instructions to complete their tasks. So, the writer should be more responsible when writing a feature article to educate the audience. Hopefully, the seven steps to writing a feature article will assist students in completing feature writing assignments. It also guides new writers and journalists in writing complete feature articles.
Author: M M Kobiruzzaman
M M Kobiruzzaman is a researcher, lecturer, and academic & creative content writer. He studied for a Master of Management By Research at the School of Business and Economics Faculty, Universiti Putra Malaysia. Previously, he graduated from the Department of Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia. His research interests contained Journalism, Social Media Communication, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and Corporate Communication. He has published several journal articles globally. He prefers to impart academic knowledge to other people through content writing. View all posts by M M Kobiruzzaman
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