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Blank-slate features

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Cover2, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. Cover2

    Cover2 New Member

    OK, so your editor tells you to write a feature about Joe Blow, a star high school player, for no other reason than he's good. You know nothing about the guy except for what you've seen on the field, but you clearly want a story with a little more substance than stats and quotes from coaches and teammates marveling over his athletic ability.

    What questions do you ask, either of him, his coach or his teammates?

    I've been doing these type of assignments for a while. I think I do a pretty good job with them, but I also think I could be doing better.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. golfnut8924

    golfnut8924 Guest

    I often ask the coach before I do any interviews if there is anything unique or interesting about the kid. I have turned a good many "non-story" features into pretty good pieces because I found out something unique about the kid from the coach and that gave me my angle. The kid might have a strange hobby, a physical condition, a unique family situation, etc., etc. that not many people outside of the team are aware of.
  3. Rumpleforeskin

    Rumpleforeskin Active Member

  4. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    And if not coaches, teammates are best - especially if it's a best/friend roommate.
  5. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    We did a piece on Jarvis Varnado, the Mississippi State shot-blocker, in which we sat him down and watched a "tape" of a game and let him comment on what he does on the court. With the right kid, that can be interesting.

    The parent(s) will have a good perspective to add, as would the coach who first turned the kid onto basketball when he/she was young.
  6. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member


    People like to read about interesting people, not a bunch of statistics. I am doing a feature for tomorrow's edition about a volleyball player who is from Slovakia. Decent player, not great. But the story is focusing on her life, her transition to living in a strange country and the challenges that come with it. Honestly, the story could just as easily run in another section of the paper. Volleyball is just the "doorway", the one thing that landed it in sports.

    It'll be an interesting read, however. Far more interesting than the 8th million game story we've done.
  7. Babs

    Babs Member

    I would advise starting with the most tangential people first, and then narrowing in on the buddy teammate, coach and finally player. By the time you get to the player, you will have some really good questions. Start with the most talkative person in the locker room -- they are the most likely to throw something out there you didn't expect.
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