Course/class opinion: Jour 21B—A challenge with feature writing
Make you cry, make you laugh, call upon your actions. That is the magic of feature writing. The Jour 21B course I am taking this winter opens for me a new door of the broad journalistic world, exciting yet challenging.
I enjoy reading feature stories in the magazines, especially the dramatic ones. Not only do they inform us what is happening around us, but they also give us many valuable lessons of life. I like lively descriptions and flexibility in the feature writing, which we cannot find in other daily news. Feature writing which leads the readers into its personal stories and human relationships can be seen as a kind of art– a combination between facts and literature.
Professor Farideh Dada is a good helper. She answered all of my questions after class and through e-mail. I feel comfortable to share my opinion with her because she has definite sympathy for English second language students. She always encourages her students to learn, so she arranges many assignments and activities in class. Working with her, you have to be an enthusiastic and industrious student. Quizzes are not quite easy, especially the AP Style part, but they are worth challenging and learning.
My first impression of the class was all of my classmates were native speakers, which made me a little worried about being left behind. Although I do not have a close relationship to anyone in class, all of them are friendly and cooperative at work. In the peer critiques, they gave me many helpful recommendations for my papers. I felt a little ashamed because my limitation of English prevented me from commenting on their papers as much as I wanted. However, their support gives me more motivation to escape from my inferiority and improve myself in writing.
Among many papers I read, I have a good impression on Nathan Mitchell’s writings. His vivid description and distinctive voice easily attract me into his stories. I admire his writing style and long to learn more from his articles. Unluckily, he dropped the class so early. Besides, the blog where I can connect with my classmates is also a good way for me to learn from their posts.
I find the Workbook useful in this class. Each exercise is a valuable experience in which I learn how to write a profile, a review, an enterprise story, an event or an editorial. From “Inside Reporting,” a friendly textbook, I discover the tips staying behind each article, which contribute to the successes of many feature journalists. The journalists have developed their skills from the basic motifs of the feature stories. “Creative, creative and creative.” That is what I always think about when I start to write a story: how to catch the attentions of the readers and how to keep them on reading my article instead of doing something else.
The two movies “Shattered Glass” and “All the President’s Men,” which reflect two opposite mirrors, teach me about the responsibilities of a journalist. A true journalist will never lie to the readers, and they will use their words to defend justice until the end.
I prefer this Jour 21B course to the Jour 21A I took before not because it is easier, but because I find out an aspect of journalism I really like. No matter what the final result is, I think all of my effort I put in this class can be considered as a success already.