Feature Writing [CRN 77177]

Discipline: Journalism and Media Communication
Instructor: Rouner
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 1340
End: 1500
Field Work: Day 2 - Monday, 14 November | Trinidad and Tobago
Prerequisites: One (1) newswriting OR reporting equivalent course Download Syllabus

This course advances students’ writing skills through the study of theory, method, and practices of reporting and writing feature stories.  The course focuses on researching, reporting and writing human interest stories. With an emphasis on travel writing, given the various international ports visited, students will research topics and media coverage of those topics; collect information through three types of reporting: observation, interviewing and the use of published documents; capture parts of human interest stories via photography; write associated features, including series and depth pieces; engage in rewriting and revising; research publishing options and requirements; and conform assignments to publishing specifics. Students may wish to concentrate on a particular cultural domain for their storytelling, such as jobs, health, politics, transportation, music, food, or sports. Students will be encouraged, and in some cases required, to spend time in ports reporting and researching.  Students’ skills in researching and writing, as well as photography, will become more sophisticated through the reporting and writing assignments.

Field Work

Country: Trinidad and Tobago
Day: 2 - Monday, 14 November

  We will visit a news organization (print, television, web) and meet with journalists about the production of news, features and other types of public media.  Students will learn about the day-to-day challenges, opportunities, time and resource constraints and other important matters associated with media production.  Students may engage in hands-on reporting and writing experiences, perhaps having their work critiqued or given the opportunity to create something for possible publication at the media organization.  Students will explore writing across cultural boundaries, writing for diverse audience members, translation, English as a dominant language on digital sites. Objectives:

  1. To gain an interest in and an appreciation for cultures, events and issues in cultural contexts other than one’s own
  2. To understand the challenges of being creative in a specific international cultural context
  3. To understand the challenges of producing written forms as a writer, editor, or business person in a specific international cultural context
  4. To learn about and understand the demands on writers as they face increasing and increasingly fast technological changes in the writing industries
  5. To gain writing tips with regard to research, daily routines, specific tips on organization and dealing with writer’s block, writing techniques with varied genres