Analysis and Remarks: Profile Feature Story – Malala Yousafzai

Source: Profile: Malala Yousafzai

A profile feature story should be focused and direct, it gives distinct relevant pieces of information of the person being reported. This article from BBC News of Malala Yousafzai is a good example of a profile feature story due to its focus, structure, interconnected-ness and credibility. 

Profile feature story has the word ‘story’ inside it for a reason. A story, usually involves a main theme, a topic, which all the written words revolve on (NY Times). If it is too wide, describing all aspects of somebody’s life, it may be a good biography, but not a profile feature story.

The center attention of Malala’s life is how she ‘fights’ against the Taliban in Pakistan and the rest of the world. Particularly, Malala fights for female’s rights to have an education, as an anonymous blogger in Taliban occupied teritory. It explains how Malala entered the international stage and won several prizes.

The directness of the article can be shown by several things. First and the most obvious is its title. It is simple and clear, but still inviting curiosity, “Profile: Malala Yousafzai”. The readers will have an idea of who is being reported or told, but if they haven’t known Malala, they will be curious about how this particular person is covered by a big News channel.

The lead is well-structured.

It has only been five years since Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai wrote an anonymous diary about life under Taliban rule in north-west Pakistan.

As you can see, it already answers the readers’ question of who Malala is, what she did, where she did it and when. The ‘why’ question is not included yet, as to make the readers even more curious. Why the hell would someone write negative remarks on Taliban, especially when your house is occupied by them, right? One hell of a girl, Malala.

Then, in the lead still, you can she the underlined blue phrase, which indicates a hyperlink. When you click it, it will take you to another article first reporting Malala’s action as an anonymous blogger. This is shows that the article is credible and interconnected, as it is backed up with other information and can be confirmed. Later in the article, readers will find other hyperlinks to the subject that is not known widely or is still significant to the story.

Another aspect that proves this story credibility, is the availability of an interview. Even though there is no direct statement that uses quotation marks, attributions which to indicate indirect statements are still present in the article. A short video of the interview with Malala can also be a solid proof for its credibility and informativeness.

Lastly, the person being reported appeals to the world audience’s interest. The choice of the source is actually the first thing to be considered. Profile story is usually written on special time context, like commemoration year after a person’s achievement, or right after the significant event itself, or after another significant event related to the first event. So, its relevance matters most. In this case, it is written on the day Malala received the Noble Peace Prize, making her the youngest person to ever receive it.

Since then she has been shot in the head by the militants, and has become the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

This line is put right after the lead, to show the readers its significance in the story.


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