What is interpretative reporting?• . It is reporting news depth and with care, news refreshed with background materials to make it comprehensive and meaningful. - Lester Markel, editor, The Sunday New York Times• It is objective judgment based on background knowledge of a situation or appraisal of an event which are essential parts of news. - Lester Markel
What is interpretative reporting?• . It is about telling the reader everything he needs to know about a given development, and all the essential facts in a way that brings the story to the readers environment. - Robert Bolorf, executive editor, The Wall Street Journal• It is giving the reading public accurate information as fully as the importance of any story dictates. - Catledge, editor, The New York Times
Based on the following definitions,interpretative reporting is more thanthe recital of bare facts but reportingnews refreshed with backgroundmaterials to make it comprehensiveand meaningful. Interpretivereporting uses skills in explanation,analysis and description.
Interpretive (or interpretative)journalism goes beyond the basicfacts of an event or topic toprovide context, analysis, andpossible consequences.
Interpretive journalists must haveunusual familiarity with andunderstanding of a subject, andtheir work involves looking forpatterns, motives, and influencesthat explain what they arereporting.
Interpretive journalism overlaps withother forms of reporting( Investigative Reporting ; AdvocacyJournalism ), in which journaliststhemselves, after interviews andreviews of documents and data, assertwho committed wrong or whatcaused failure.
Here are the major phases that areinvolved in interpretativereporting: • Factual or fact-gathering phase - the first and, personally, the crucial stage, since, this stage will be the foundation of all the reports. With enough facts gathered, verified and rechecked, the reporter can then have more assurance of making a story stand. • Prophesy phase - the writer, like a scientist, makes an “educated guess” or like a hypothesis in science, where he can somehow predict, based on the FACTS, where his / her story is leading. Information from experts can verify if the “guess” may lead to something concrete. • Interpretation phase - this phase is the “fruit” of the two previous phases, where the reporter concludes on the MEANING, IMPORTANCE or EFFECT of all the reports. The reporter’s interpretation can be highlighted on this or an / the expert/s opinion on the matter.
In contrast to the opinion journalism,which takes position to the topicsthemselves, the interpretivejournalism tries to report objectivelyand to quote therefore several pointsof view. The journalist knowshowever by selection and order ofthese points of view under-smolder-lies nevertheless a certain opinion torepresent.
As a result of adding extendedinformation from differentsources arises the interpretationof the journalist, who is asobjective as possible and for whoreaders arrange the backgroundof the event.
In interpretive journalism theselection of the sources isparticularly important.
A high-quality interpretive articlecontains sources of various kind andparticularly from various points ofview. Here the opinions ofProtagonist, in addition, of experts,entangled into the message, who arefamiliar with the respective topic, playan important role.
what is the distinction betweenobjective journalism andinterpretive journalism?
Interpretive reporting takes thefacts from objective journalismand adds context and analysis
Interpretive Writing shouldProvoke, Relate, and Reveal!
Types of Interpretive Stories• Wall street journal format• Multiple-element story• Trend Piece
The Inverted PyramidLeadSupportingParagraphSecondaryInformationBackgroundInformation
THE TREND PIECEAnecdote thatIllustrates trendStatistics thatClearly establishTrend.Speculation by expertsOn probable causes andSignificance of trendKicker, preferablyAlluding to originalAnecdote
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL FORMULA 1 Focus on Individual Return to Transition to4. original focus Larger Issue 2 Developmen t of Larger issue 3
The Multiple Element storyMultiple element Element ALead Element BDevelopment ofElement ADevelopment ofElement BBullets Element C Element D Element E Element F
The full flowering of interpretivereporting, however, occurs instories that are not based onevents
These are enterprise stories:trend stories, backgrounders,analyses, “think” pieces,investigative reports: that areincreasingly becoming thehallmark of newspaperjournalism
They seek to identify the causesof events rather than report ontheir occurrence. Such storiesgive the causes andconsequences of events.
Reporters are expected to keeptheir personal opinions out ofprint, although this often amatter of form than of substance.
The control that reporters exertover the content of interpretivestories, both sources and facts,makes it impossible to claim thatpersonal opinion is absent.
Professional acceptance of interpretivereporting since the 1960s has broughtwith it a number of variations injournalistic style and method – the newjournalism, activism and advocacy,adversary journalism, investigativejournalism, etc
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