Feature Coverage students collaborate in a relaxed classroom setting

Reporting on feature pieces is all about digging around and finding strong sources that know how to tell a story. Students in Julia Satterthwaite’s “Feature Coverage” class are exploring this angle of journalistic writing and investigating the human aspect of articles they produce.

Going into her fifth summer as a MIPA instructor with a journalism degree from MSU, Satterthwaite knows what works best and has found that keeping a laid-back classroom environment works best for students.

“I want [the atmosphere of the class] to feel chill,” Satterthwaite said. “I want people to feel calm and relaxed and comfortable. I just don’t want people to feel stressed.”

Students started by completing a series of worksheets as homework last night and collaborated in the classroom today by generating story ideas with a partner. Throughout the course of the week participants will produce a news brief, personality profile, an informational feature and music review or feature column.

“I’m excited and eager to learn about new ways to present feature stories,” Utica Ford High School student  said. “The class is already fun and I’m looking forward to the rest of the week.”

The class will continue to generate new stories and Satterthwaite is excited to share her tips to help students expand their skill set.

“I want kids to find new ways to tell stories that are interesting to the readers,” Satterthwaite said. “I think they really need to find the right person for the story. It all starts with people.”


H.H. Dow High School student Maddie Davis and Dexter High School student Maddie Kurtz generate story ideas together. The girls collaborated on the topics of what students need and what adults worry about at the beginning of the school year.


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