A well-crafted feature story can inform, entertain, provoke and inspire. In this class, students will learn and polish the techniques to do all those things and more. Students will sharpen research, reporting, interviewing and writing skills as they produce a portfolio of stories on a wide range of issues and topics, including international relations, human rights, health, the environment, sports, entertainment, global cooperation, culture, and social justice. Subject matter will derive from the locations we visit during our voyage.
Assignments will include profiles, human interest stories, Q&A stories, observation stories, how-to stories, and in-depth reporting. Students can expect one-on-one coaching and critiques as they develop and write their stories. Freelance writing and how to pitch stories for publication also will be explored.
Field WorkCountry: Hawaii, United States
Date: January 12, 2020
Scenic and historic Honolulu is the perfect spot to flex your feature-writing muscles. We will visit the nonprofit Honolulu Civil Beat newsroom and interview journalists about how they find and produce award-winning stories in the dynamic, multicultural milieu that is Hawaii. We will also experience the USS Arizona Memorial Deluxe Tour at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial. In addition to a boat trip to the USS Arizona Memorial and narrated tour via smartphone, this tour includes the Pearl Harbor Virtual Reality Center, where you will experience “Walk the Deck of the USS Arizona Before the Attack," “Witness the Attack on Battleship Row” and “Experience the USS Arizona Memorial" via virtual-reality technology. Interview fellow tourists at Pearl Harbor for a man-on-the-street feature story or train your feature-writing skills on profiling the Civil Beat journalists.
1. Identify the challenges that professional feature writers face operating in a multicultural environment for a small, nonprofit newsroom
2. Refine the skills necessary for interviewing and photographing strangers through practice
3. Write a feature story about either the journalists at Civil Beat or the Pearl Harbor tourists that is well-organized, accurate and engaging