Resources to Write a Feature StoryResources to Write a Feature Story

[/media-credit] Kayla Xu from Irvington High School in Fremont, CA recording at KQED studios

If you've ever listened to This American Life, Snap Judgment or Invisibilia, you've heard an audio feature.  Basically, it's a short audio documentary (usually between 2 and 10 minutes) that incorporates script, interview and recorded elements to tell a sound-rich story that brings the listener in.

Feature Story Elements

Feature  typically include the following elements:

  • Narration
  • Interview tape
  • Scene tape (sound of something happening, for instance: a person going into a store to buy a suit for their first job interview)
  • Ambient sound (school bells, traffic sounds, ocean waves-- whatever sounds paint an auditory picture of your story)

Types of Audio Features

There are many, many ways to create feature stories.  For the Youth Takeover, we focus on two types.

First-Person Perspective Audio Story

First person pieces focus on the author's perspective, experience or opinion.

Inquiry-Based Audio Story

Inquiry-based pieces attempt to answer a self-generated question

Extra Resources :

Podcast 101 by PRX