Journalistic Report

Last Updated: May 24, 2024

Journalistic Report

Public service that leans towards the truth does not get anymore real than becoming a journalist. But what exactly does it take to become one? Is it your unwavering commitment to the truth and nothing but the truth? Is it the way you present the story in a certain light or angle? Is it how you manage to get the information from your sources despite the fact they would try their very best to conceal it from you as to avoid disclosure of a major political scandal? You may also see report examples.

Journalistic Reporting

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Well, truth be told, it’s all those and more. Becoming a journalist is not just about writing and reporting the news, it’s about sifting through the lies that the corrupt and guilty try to feed and give the public information that they really need to know. But before even considering picking up the pen and paper, you have to first understand the elements that makes up journalism in the first place. And what better book to explain that Kovach and Rossentiel’s Elements of Journalism? Here are the 8 Elements of Journalism.

Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth

Truth is a very scare commodity these days. But the sad reality is that the Philippines is home to producers of fake news media sites. It is probably because it garners the most number of reactions, comments, and shares compared to legitimate news agencies and their social media accounts. Journalists spend day and night gathering information for the sake of the public knowing about them the next day. Journalists are trained to do so in the first place. But the moment they fall into the dark side and spread fake news to the public, they start lying to themselves by intentionally writing news that is not true and would might destroy a person’s reputation.

1. Its first loyalty is to citizens

Do journalists actually write for themselves or for the public? Do they write for politicians and corrupt scumbags or do they write for the common people and the voiceless who sometimes are always being shut up? As a reporter and a journalist, your job is to keep the public informed of society’s happenings. Remember, your loyalty cannot be bought. You have a job to do. You may also see consulting report examples.

2. Its essence is a discipline of verification

As mentioned before, your job is not only to write the news, but it is also to verify them. Without verifying the news that you write, then you are just no better than that of writing fake news. There are many aspects that would need verification: quotes, facts, point of view (POV) and how you decide to structure the story. Before even submitting the said story, make sure that everything seems in order. But if something happens to be amiss, it is part of your job to go back and clarify that information with your sources or your research. You may also like marketing report examples.

3. Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover

People say that cable News Network (CNN) has already become a very biased news agency, especially towards President Donald Trump who actively claims that CNN is a producer of fake news. But even so, it is their job to always stand as the neutral ground and just simply report the story as it is. Their duty is not to side with corrupt politicians or activists who stand up for something right. Their job is to find out the truth and report it. But it can also be noted that as journalists, you cannot just get two sides otherwise it would result into armageddon (e.g. the fight between good and evil). And that is just not right. Journalists should try to cover multiple angles in order to present the bigger picture. You may also check out examples of short report.

4. It must serve as an independent monitor of power

If journalists do not monitor what goes on in the top brass, then there must be something very wrong. It can only lead to two possibilities: the journalist has friends in the top brass and he or she feels that reporting the scandal or allegations between the government officer might betray his or her trust. Are you really just going to let them get away with their crimes without being held responsible and accounted for? It is the very people who placed them in office, and it should be the very people to help monitor their movements as to make sure they are using their position to make the country better. You might be interested in business report examples.

5. It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise

The news industry tackles with different issues on a daily basis. From the ongoing de-nuclearization talks ongoing between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un to the war on drugs that was issued by President Duterte to help combat the usage of illegal drugs in the Philippines. With all this going on, can you really be silent about this and not raise your thoughts on this matter? Don’t you want to join in on the discussion? Your audience does not only consist of the common folk but also to professionals (e.g. doctors, professors) who share their thoughts on the matter to the public on what they think could’ve been done better. By opening a forum for public criticism and compromise, you allow ideas and discussions to flow freely with no holds barred. You may also see management report examples.

6. It must strive to keep the significant interesting and relevant

There may be plenty of stories that journalists will be tasked to cover, but there are only a few stories that will actually matter to the public. If there are stories that are properly written and angled correctly, the story’s value may actually be worth just as much as a breaking story. But lately, this has become more of a challenge since the public’s perception of the news industry will always be related to bad news. In an undergraduate thesis, the results of their study showed the public prefers crime-related or political stories due to the tension and action it presents in the story over business stories or community-related stories that leads to the betterment of society. You may also like recruitment report examples.

7. Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience

Sometimes, there are issues that the journalist is not comfortable in covering. It is understandable that it is their job to cover the news, but it cannot be helped if that certain issue has a certain effect on him or her which as a result might leave him or her not focused enough to carry out the duty at hand. Or perhaps covering that certain issue might distort his or her values. It is best to respect the free will and the decision of the journalist on that certain matter. You may also check out report examples in excel.

Now that you understand the elements that comprise a journalist, it is high time to understand on how journalists would often write their stories on a daily basis.

Journalistic Reporting

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Basic Story Structure

A good story gets straight to the point and has all the main elements, including some context, analysis, human interest and color, woven in from the top, not just tagged on as an afterthought.

1. Lead

They say the first two sentences of the story will give people the assumption as to whether that story is going to be a great one or just an ordinary one. This is where the lead comes in. A lead should only consist of 27 words and must answer the question “so what”. If your headline was about a businessman being gunned down, what importance does it bring to the public? You may also see performance report examples.

2. Sourcing

Who are your sources for that information? Where did you get that? How did you get it? How many sources of information did you ask from? Did you conduct extra research for the story that you are going to write? Is it from a legitimate source? These are just some of the questions you would need to ask to yourself as you begin gathering the data for your story. Make sure to always double check your sources to ensure that they are telling the truth. You may also like sample activity reports.

Editable Journalistic Reporting

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Quotes add color and life to the story. Without making good use of them, you will only end up making the story dull to the audience. Quotes are also substantial proof that the source said this so it would not seem that he or she is lying. You may also see financial report examples.

4. Growing The Story

As you delve deeper into the story, it is essential that you try to follow these steps as to make your reported story more comprehensive and more detailed. You may also check out monthly report examples & samples.

  • Expand and elaborate on the items, events, data, themes in your intro sequentially.
  • List down at least 2 to 3 subheads to create the building blocks. Subheads give the readers an idea as to the section that he or she is currently at.
  • What aspects are changing and what is not?
  • Who are the parties in conflict and why?
  • What is at risk politically, economically, financially?
  • Have you been fair to all parties and points of view? Have we given all relevant parties a chance to respond to each and every claim we make?

Quotes can also be used to:

  • Catch distinctions and nuances in important passages of speeches and convey some of the flavor of the speaker’s language. You might be interested in investigation report samples and examples.
  • Document and support statements made in the lead and elsewhere.
  • Set off controversial material, where the precise wording can be an issue, as in legal contexts.

When using indirect (or reported) speech, instead of direct quotes, sources either say something or they do not. Innuendo is rarely acceptable in news reporting. You should never guess at what a source means. You may also see research report examples.


1. Structuring the Body of the Story

  • In addition to ensuring your story leads with the main facts, or leads with the main argument and quickly answers the questions why? and so what ? also make it easy on the reader’s brain by ensuring your story follows logically. You may also like what should be in an executive summary of a report?
  • Usually this is best done by building your story in blocks that follow sequentially. Try to group all the information relating to one element of your story in one group of sentences or paragraphs. Touching on an issue in the first couple of paragraphs and then only returning to it way down the story often confuses readers.
  • Each sentence should connect to the next like a link in a chain.
  • Don’t leave holes or gaps in the logic. Connect the dots and don’t assume the read can always make the leap of fact or logic with you. You may also check out medical report examples & samples.
  • Using “cross-heads” to break up the story about every 300 words can help the reader to follow your thinking.

2. Some checks for error-free copy

Many corrections can be prevented by checking simple things. Here are some tips to keep errors down before you send your story to the desk:

  • Are the headline tag and slug correct and appropriate?
  • Ensure information in the story agrees with the headline. You may also see inspection report examples & samples.
  • Does the story make clear how we got the information and when?
  • Make sure there is are quotes or evidence to back up your intro.
  • Confirm all times and dates. Ensure there are time references in the story to the readers knows when the events occurred or what time period the data covers.
  • Check all the numbers – do all the components add up to the total, do individual percentages add up to 100?
  • Watch the spelling of proper names and ensure names are spelled consistently throughout the story. You may also like quality report examples.
  • Check if the story is written fairly and impartially.

Journalistic Reporting Example

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News writing is no easy job. So unless you are prepared to risk and sacrifice everything for the truth, then this is not for you.

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