Writing Successful Profiles

This Webinar was originally broadcast on:
September 29, 2011 Enroll Now
Watch and listen to the original one-hour Webinar in its entirety. This Webinar recording features the full presentation led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty including Q&A from the audience and resources from the presenter.

Course Overview

Writing Successful Profiles
Originally Broadcast On:
September 29, 2011
Time Estimate:
One hour and 15 minutes

About Webinars

In this virtual classroom, participants can join in a seminar led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty. This screencast includes live audio and a slideshow presentation in which participants can post questions and respond to poll questions posed by the host.

Whether it’s a daily-turn profile of a person in the news or a richly reported feature story, all successful profiles require a clear sense of purpose. Learn to get beyond the obvious and write about a life, not a resume.

What Will I Learn:
  • How to avoid profile clichés: the Heroic Do-gooder, the Freak of the Week
  • How to distill the larger meaning
  • How to report for character and complexity, choices and consequences, action and detail
  • Every profile is really a quest
  • Vulnerabilities make characters more appealing
Who Should Take this Course:

Feature, obituary and other writers tasked to make an account of a person's life.

Course Instructor:

Jan Winburn

Jan Winburn is senior editor for enterprise reporting at CNN Digital, where she is bringing longform multimedia storytelling to a brand known for breaking news. Before joining CNN in 2009, she was an editor at newspapers for three decades. Among the awards her writers have won: The Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, a Dart Award, the Livingston Award for Young Journalists, a Batten Medal and a Peabody Award.

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