Directions for the Journalistic Profile

Journalistic Profile: Implementing the techniques and devices we’ll study in the various modes of literary journalism, you will compose a 2-3-page journalistic profile of a person working in the professional field you wish to enter. Included will be a profile about your chosen person that you are writing about.

A “profile feature” is a newspaper article that explores the background and character of a particular person (or group). The focus should be on a news angle or a single aspect of the subject’s personal or professional life. When reporting a profile feature article, observe your surroundings carefully.

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This is NOT to resemble a biography or SWOT analysis (SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats—and is a structured planning method that evaluates those four elements of a project or business venture); it is to be a work of creative nonfiction—more specifically, a work of reportage that, as Lincoln Steffens once wrote of journalism, endeavors to represent its subject “so humanely that the reader will see himself in the other fellow’s place.”

Here’s how to write a journalistic profile story:
1. Research your subject – after you have chosen whom to write about
2. Create questions that are interesting
3. Allow your subject to do 90 percent of the talking
4. Ask if you may record your subjects interviews
5. Develop your angle (what you want to discuss)
6. Find pull quotes that move the story
7. Tell the story
8. Check your facts for accuracy

*Please refer to the Rubrics section of this syllabus for information on how this assignment will be evaluated.

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