The Featurization of Journalism
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSteensen, S. (2011). The Featurization of Journalism. Nordicom Review, 32 (2), 49-61. http://www.nordicom.gu.se/common/publ_pdf/345_steensen.pdf
Feature journalism has developed from being an insignificant supplement to news journalism to a family of genres that today dominates newspapers. The present article explores the growing importance of feature journalism and attempts to understand its social function, how it has changed and why it has become so important. Based on an analysis of influential textbooks on feature journalism, the paper argues that feature journalism has traditionally been dominated by a literary discourse, and discourses of intimacy and adventure – discourses that thus have become increasingly important for newspapers, thereby transforming the social function of news in general. Today, however, the genres of feature journalism are undergoing significant changes, reflecting the technological, social, economic and cultural changes that affect the media industry and the role of journalism at large. The present article is framed by a social constructivist view of genre, and it outlines possible scenarios for future transformations of feature journalism.