What’s a “focus story” you ask?
It’s a story about an issue or trend that starts out by focusing on an individual. It lets you put a “human face” on a story about an issue or trend.
To find out more, check out this blog post I wrote in 2011 about focus stories: https://100w.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/focus-stories/. It includes links to two good examples of focus stories, one published in the SF Chronicle and the other from Parade, a Sunday newspaper insert.