How to Write a Sports Feature for a Newspaper
Almost every newspaper in the country has a sports section. A good feature story is one that readers will re-read more than once. Here's how to achieve that.
Come up with a theme. If you are featuring a basketball star, you may want to focus on his drive, in which case most of your questions should be related to this. Then you will get answers that are different from the ones the star normally gives. Instead of asking. "Where did you grow up and what did you do as a kid?", ask "What was the earliest age when you felt a drive to pursue basketball?" Continue by asking "How did your family respond to your drive?" You will get much better answers when you stay with a theme.
Conduct the actual interview. Be sure to be polite and ask questions in a respectful manner. Remember not to badger the star. You are not there to expose some ugly truth about the sports star. You are there to get a little better insight into how the player thinks and lives his life. Also, don't make the star wait for you to write every answer down by longhand. Ask permission to use a tape recorder so you can go back over the interview later.
After the interview, open a word processing document on your computer. Start writing immediately after the interview while everything is fresh. If you wait too long to write the feature, it will be out of date and people's interests will have changed. A feature article should be relevant to the moment.
Edit your article. But first, give yourself a little time away from the computer. When you come back to the article, you will be refreshed and will be able to see mistakes that you wouldn't have seen if you just edited it right away.
Submit the feature, along with any pictures you were able to get to the publisher of your newspaper. Nowadays, you can email the document and photos straight to your boss. That way he or she can look it over in a matter of minutes and decide if any changes need to be made.
- Always make use of your spell-checker so you don't come across as an amateur.
- Dress professionally when conducting an interview. Impressions are important.
- Keep all quotes intact. Don't get sued because you misquoted or left out a phrase. Be truthful and stick to the facts.