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									                  English 251/IMME 240: Feature Writing

                                                      Prof. Pearson
                                                         Fall, 2003
Dissecting a feature story: News feature example: This is a news
story written in feature style. It summarizes remarks made at a
press conference, but makes an effort to go beyond simple
reporting to explain the significance of the comments made at the
press conference. The online version of the story contains
multimedia elements that we will discuss later.

What to look for
I will identify elements of a feature story that we discussed in
class, including:
    Lead (Introduction)
    Hook or newspeg
    Boring but important information – BBIs
    Narrative structure
        o Conflict
        o Flow, including transitions
    Storytelling tactics
        o Mood
        o Description
        o Anecdotes
        o Quotes
        o Portraits
    Closure
Are there other elements you can identify?

What to think about: Some questions for the message board:
    1. This story is focused on one episode in a series of events.
       Does the story stand on its own? Has the reporter supplied
       enough background to help you understand this episode by
       itself, and as part of the larger chain of events?
         a. If so, what has he done that makes it work? Be
            specific.
         b. If not, what’s missing?
         c. What are the reporter and editors assuming about their
            audience?
    2. This story appeared on Page One, which suggests that it was
       considered important at the time. Has the writer done a
       sufficient job of explaining why it was important?
         a. If so, what specific elements convey its importance?
         b. If not, what’s missing?
    3. How well would this story have worked with a hard news lead?
       What other kinds of feature formats might have worked/
__________________________________________________________________

                   The Philadelphia Inquirer
Original publication date: Thursday, April 10, 1997. Page One
URL:http://www.phillynews.com/inquirer/97/Apr/10/front_page/GRAY10
.htm
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                    The march is on in Grays Ferry
The Nation of Islam won't be there. Nonetheless, some expect the
turnout to be just as large.

                                By Darrell Dawsey
                              INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Still, they're marching on.

That was the message [WHAT, part one] yesterday [WHEN, part one]
from black Grays Ferry residents and community leaders [WHO, part
one – also pronoun reference], who said they would move ahead with
a march through the neighborhood[WHERE] Monday despite the
withdrawal of the Nation of Islam.

``While we regret the dropping out of the Nation of Islam, we want
to let it be known that the march is still on,'' said Leonard
Wearing, executive director of the Grays Ferry West Community
Action Group, a mostly black neighborhood organization. ``And we
expect to have as many people as when the Nation of Islam was
involved.''

City officials, however, are expecting a much smaller turnout, and
police said they would drastically reduce the number of officers
they had planned to send to Grays Ferry that day.

In other developments yesterday, Mayor Rendell said the city was
still seeking a venue for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan,
who was invited to speak Monday at a rally against racism at which
the mayor and possibly City Council President John F. Street will
also appear.

And Temple University came under harsh criticism from African
Americans after school administrators ruled out McGonigle Hall as
a site for the speech.
The developments came a day after the Nation of Islam, responding
to Rendell's written appeal to Minister Farrakhan, announced that
it would forgo the march for the rally. In the letter, Rendell
warned that a Nation of Islam march through Grays Ferry ``could
trigger a riot.''

Grays Ferry West and the Nation of Islam, whose Philadelphia
mosque is headed by Minister Rodney Muhammad, had been march
cosponsors.

At a news conference yesterday in front of Lanier Park, the site
of several racial attacks in Grays Ferry over the years,
neighborhood activists spoke diplomatically about the Nation of
Islam's decision to abandon the march.

``We respect what   the Nation is going to do,'' said Wearing.
``We're not going   to get into attacking another black
organization. But   I think we need to keep the focus on Grays
Ferry, not Center   City or somewhere else. This isn't a march for
religion. This is   a march for black men standing up and for zero
tolerance for the   beating of our women and children.''

Some white residents expressed relief that the Nation of Islam
pulled out of the march.

``If the problem is ever to be solved, it has to be worked on by
the community,'' said Mark Meighan, 37, a lifelong resident of
Grays Ferry. ``The outsiders are going to come, they're going to
march, and they're going to leave.

``There's a lot of good people in this neighborhood, both white
and black, that just want to live together peacefully. I think
it's important that people understand that.''

Charles Reeves, director of Grays Ferry West, said that even
before the Nation of Islam got involved, he had called for the
march to protest a February attack on a black family by 20 to 50
whites.

Police have charged eight white suspects, including Dennis Flinn,
22, who surrendered last night. The investigation is continuing.

The beating of Annette Williams, her son and her nephew reignited
tensions in Grays Ferry, which has long been plagued by racial
violence. In March, the racial gulf widened further when a white
youth, 16-year-old Christopher Brinkman, was gunned down in a
drugstore robbery. Two black men have been charged in the case,
which authorities described as a robbery gone awry, not a racial
slaying.

Some observers worried that the proposed march would further fuel
animosity and might spark bloodshed. As a result, Rendell, Street
and other political leaders have labored to persuade marchers to
call off the demonstration.

Grays Ferry West has refused.

``We're not here to compromise on this issue,'' said Reeves, who
stood alongside Williams throughout the news conference. ``We're
not saying [the Nation of Islam] made a deal -- but we will not
make a deal.''

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Rendell said the city still had not
found a location for Farrakhan's speech on Monday, but said the
search would turn up something -- possibly the Mann Music Center
or Robin Hood Dell East.

``We will find a venue,'' said spokesman Kevin Feeley.

Feeley added that the city was also seeking private donors to
finance the rally, whose cost could include liability insurance.

City leaders had hoped the rally could be staged at Mc Gonigle
Hall, but Temple administrators said they had too little time to
move classes out.

Temple has come under fire for rebuffing Rendell's request for the
hall.

On her morning talk show on WHAT-AM, host Mary Mason yesterday
told senior Temple administrator John White, ``Temple doesn't move
for the black community until they get pressured, and I resent
that.''

White, who had called in, denied her accusation.

The announcement about the rally also sparked criticism of Rendell
by some Jewish leaders who fear that the mayor, who is Jewish, is
embracing Farrakhan, who has been repeatedly accused of anti-
Semitism.
But Rendell said he was not second-guessing his decision to invite
Farrakhan to speak as part of the agreement to get the Nation of
Islam out of the march.

``The damage to Grays Ferry and Philadelphia would have been just
enormous had there been a march and subsequent racial strife,''
Rendell said. ``Even if [the decision] causes me some grief and
political problems, I think it is an easy choice.''

Rendell said the Nation of Islam supplied his office on Saturday
with a videotape of a Farrakhan speech on racial issues. ``It was
a fine speech,'' said Rendell.

Still, he added that he wouldn't hesitate to respond to Farrakhan
if he makes racially insensitive remarks.

``If he makes statements of that vein, I wouldn't do anything
inside the venue,'' said Rendell, ``but as soon as it was over, I
would make a strong statement of how strongly and sincerely I
disagreed with it. But I believe he is coming in an attempt to
heal.''

He said the city would likely spend some additional money on
police overtime for the rally, but that would be ``hundreds of
thousands'' less than overtime costs originally projected for the
Monday march through Grays Ferry.

March participants are expected to gather at 7 a.m. at Lanier
Park.

One police commander estimated that about 500 officers will be
there, much less than the more than 1,500 officers slated for duty
earlier this week, before the Nation of Islam withdrew.

``There will be enough police to control things,'' said the
commander, who asked that his name not be used.

But while city officials are anticipating a smaller turnout in
Grays Ferry than initially expected, Reeves said the march
sponsors were still expecting a huge crowd.

``I've been in touch with people from around the country, and
they're coming,'' he said.

Reeves and others said several Philadelphia residents and grass-
roots organizations have stepped up their role in preparing for
the march. They include the African People's Solidarity Committee,
the Tasker Tenant Improvement Council at the Tasker Homes project
in Grays Ferry, members of Mount Pleasant Worship Center in Mount
Airy, PEAK, a group founded after the Million Man March, and the
Daughters of Fine Lineage, a West Oak Lane community group.

Inquirer staff writers Thomas J. Gibbons Jr., Craig R. McCoy,
Chris Mondics and Rusty Pray contributed to this article.


                                   [ * ]
To see video of the news conference on Grays Ferry march, visit
Philadelphia Online, The Inquirer's site on the Internet:
http://www.phillynews.com
    --------------------------------------------------------------
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        Philadelphia Online -- The Philadelphia Inquirer, Page One
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                     Copyright Thursday, April 10, 1997

								
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