What makes a good feature?

What’s our ultimate purpose when we’re writing a piece of feature? Apparently, we want someone to read it and love it!

Though it’s sort of impossible to appeal to everyone, we can still try to attract as many audiences as possible by means of various kinds of multimedia.

As what I understand, the aim of a feature is not like that of a hard news. The later aims to inform people and spread information, while the former is to dig out something buried in depth and persuade the audience to think. Therefore, no matter what kind of multimedia we are going to use, images, videos, audios or animation, they have to be selected carefully and properly so as to convey the information and exert a profound influence on the audience to a maximum extent.

Here is an excellent feature from The New York Times where different kinds of multimedia are combined properly in order to achieve the greatest impact.

“They are slaughtering us like animals”

Images

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The featured image is full of shock and power so that the audience can be visually drawn the attention very easily.

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Well-shot pictures of strong visual impact with a clear and simple caption on it is totally good enough to tell a story.

Video

Videos are applied in this feature as well. what is different is that these videos are original ones that were captured by security cameras outside streets. This is one of the factors we need to consider when we ourselves are making a feature:  what do we want to present in this video, facts, emotions or drama? Obviously, what the audience need most is what’s happening out there, that is to say, the fact! So that’s why supervision video is a better choice.

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Embedding map

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Embedding map is a good way to create interaction between the information provided and your audience. Just imagine, when you scroll down and the dots in the map are gradually highlighted to show where these incidents or cases were happening, one can hardly not get involved in this interaction and this whirlpool of information.

It’s not that a good feature should combine with all kinds of multimedia. Instead, a combination of some particular kinds of multimedia which suit the story best is a guarantee of success.

Oh, one more thing, no matter what kind of magic you use, remember that the skill of telling a story is something outmatching all of those little tricks.

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