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Joyce Davis  On News


The difference between hard news and feature. Yes, there is a difference, except, I think the feature stories that we do, or many of them, are driven by whatever the hard news may be. It may be some angle of the news, the breaking news story. For example, let's take Somalia. We sent reporters to Somalia to cover a war or to cover trying to deal with a humanitarian situation. I also asked Debra Amos if she'd do just a story on the women of Somalia. Because these were apparently a unique group of women. And what their lifestyle is like. Now that's really a feature story, but it's pegged to the news event. So we do a lot of things like that. Going in and taking a look at one Somali worker who's stayed behind, apparently was a wealthy Somalian, could have left, going in and finding out that they opened an orphanage to care for children. Just zeroing in. Now that's a feature, according to NPR standards. But we also have features as light as just going out to the desert and doing a story on a Berber tribe or so. Not that that's light, I guess that's really not light, but we do do light features, I can't think of any right now. Or we go out and we examine something environmental, birds that are extinct. We do all those kinds of things. But the difference is, don't confuse features with really superficial stories. When we talk feature, we talk depth. We talk really going in and telling me something that I didn't know about the subject.

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