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Chapter 10: Feature or Enterprise News Stories

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John Yemma, editor of the Christian Science Monitor, explains how the original 1908 mission of the newspaper is still relevant today on the web.

John Yemma, editor of the Christian Science Monitor, discusses the Monitor journalist’s approach to representing the news organization.

John Yemma, editor of the Christian Science Monitor, identifies several lessons that had to be learned in becoming a digital-first news organization.

John Yemma, editor of the Christian Science Monitor, outlines the Monitor philosophy for web and print presentations.

Laurent Belsie, business section editor of the Christian Science Monitor, outlines some of the changes in mindset that are occurring as the Monitor moves from a more print focus to a more digital online one.


  1. Find a professional journalist who would serve as the centerpiece of a short multimedia (text, visuals, etc.) profile story. After researching their work and their background, try to spend a sizable portion of a work day with the journalist. Also plan to do interviews with bosses, coworkers, and friends. Consider how you would use video and/or still pictures as well as audio.
  2. Develop three trend or microcosm/macrocosm story ideas from your beat or topic of expertise. Write a focus statement for each idea and develop a list of sources and media elements for each idea. Do pre-interview and reporting for each idea and try to put together at least one idea with multiple sources and media in one week’s time.
  3. Take the three ideas you wrote up for a small multimedia reporting project and determine which types of enterprise/feature approaches would work best with each topic. Identify different media elements you could use in the project and outline the time and the people needed to put it together well. Give yourself 3–4 weeks to gather the interviews, reporting, and elements for the project.
  4. Take the three ideas you wrote up for a small multimedia reporting project and sort through a list of links for each idea. Refine that list to ensure you have about 5–10 links that would be useful for the audience to learn more about the story topic and its sources. This list can be expanded and changed as you work on developing the reporting.


Links to good examples of a feature/enterprise stories mentioned

Discrepancies on medical bills can leave a credit stain [microcosm/macrocosm]

New York Health Department restaurant ratings map [interactive story]

Steve Kroft’s February 11, 2007 profile of Barack Obama

Boston Globe investigation on software company and House Speaker DiMasi

Denver’s KMGH investigative reporting on slow ambulance responses

Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation into test scores

NPR’s look at youth and sex trafficking
http://www.npr.org/2010/12/06/131757019/youth-radio-trafficked-teen-girls-describe-life-in-the-game and http://www.npr.org/2010/12/07/131757175/arresting-youth-in-sex-trafficking-raises-debate

Shale boom in Texas could increase US oil output

“Do no harm” and Las Vegas Sun
http://www.lasvegassun.com/hospital-care/ and http://www.lasvegassun.com/hospital-care/portraits-interactive/

Boston Globe’s steampunk trend story

Boil water order lifted for all 30 Mass. communities; click for latest updates [explainer/service story]

Boston area traffic report [explainer/service story]


Aamidor, A. (2006). Real Feature Writing Second Edition. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Baker, B. (2011, July 17). At large on a network of need. Boston Globe, p. B1.

Myers, S. (2010, March 3). Psychology, culture key in “the art of access” to public records. Retrieved August 22, 2011, from poynter.org: http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/top-stories/101166/psychology-culture-key-in-the-art-of-access-to-public-records/.

Scott, D. C. (2011, December 1). Christian Science Monitor online editor. (A. Burris, Interviewer).

Trafficked. (2010, December 6 and 7). Retrieved September 12, 2011, from youthradio.org: http://www.youthradio.org/trafficked.

Yemma, J. (2011, December 1). Christian Science Monitor editor. (A. Burris, Interviewer).