Critique of Classmate’s Feature Story Intro Assignment

** This post was written as an assignment for my Digital Journalism class through UCSD Extension. 

I am definitely interested to read the rest of the story, even though I don’t watch HGTV or know who the Gaineses are. Kylie effectively makes them relatable by telling the reader of their business struggles. It’s not straightforward for non-fans of reality TV (like me) to see people who choose to be TV personalities as good people, but just in this opening I can see that the Gaineses worked hard but also got lucky. 

I would like to know in these opening paragraphs who will be interviewed. I think less facts and stats in the opening could easily leave room for a great quote. Specifically the sentence with all their business names could be pushed down farther into the story, or perhaps broken up throughout if/when each is brought into the story. 

As far as I can tell without reading the whole story, the opening sentence has none of the 5 Ws in it. They don’t all have to be there of course, but at least a few would make it more clear where this story is going. Even by the end of this intro, I’m not sure the ‘what’ of this piece. Will it be about the Gaineses struggle paying off? If so, perhaps a comparison of their life in 2003 versus 2014 would make an effective hook early on in the story. 

Also, the word ‘almost’ in the second sentence throws me off. It sounds like the antique business did fail, so the Gaineses do fit into the statistic, no almost about it.

I think some sentences shifting around in the opening or being pushed down would make for a stronger hook. I look forward to reading the whole piece!

Read the story intro on Kylie’s blog: