During my Journalism course with the ICS (International Correspondence School) in 2000-2001 by mail, my tutor asked me this: How does investigative news differ from interpretive news? Upon reading the question, I replied: For investigative news - a reporter should first investigate the event - when, where, why and how it happened before writing it down into news. It takes time to do that. For the interpretive news, I said: a reporter should also investigate the event too and interpret it before writing his news. It also consumes much time. I added saying, that a reporter should go out, do his research before he writes the news story either it is investigative news or an interpretive news.
If you were the newspaper reporter and you were asked to write both the investigative news story about children (kidnap for ransom) and interpretive news story about (the effects of a new taxation law) by your newspaper editor and he wanted them to be published the next two business day - what would you do? And how you can start writing them for the deadline? For the seasoned reporter, those assignments are just chicken as he has many connections to contact, but for a newly trained reporter, he might scream and shout loud to his editor - showing his objection!
How does Interpretive News differ from Investigative News? In hard news story, the term interpretive news may suggest to a contradiction in terms. Traditionally, news is thought of as objective, with interpretation of the news sent off to the editorials. But recently most journalists have come to believe that absolute objectivity is impossible to achieve. No matter how unbiased a reporter attempts to be, everything he perceives and writes is seen through his own eyes. Every reporter decides to include certain aspects of a story and exclude others, thus interpreting the event.
Now interpretive news allows the reporter to go beyond the straight facts and attempt to show why something happened and what the future significance of the event may be. In writing interpretive news, examples: financial stories that explain the effects of a new taxation law and medial stories that outline advances - a reporter should avoid getting carried away with explanation. A reporter should assume that his readers are reasonably intelligent. He should not explain the obvious. His job is to explain events, connections between events and terms that may not have occurred to the general reader. A survey found that most readers have been turned off by writing they cannot immediately get into.
In the early 1970s when reporters from The Washington Post broke the Watergate Scandal - journalists and the general public realized that reporters not only record events. By digging into areas that might not otherwise come into light, they can also shape events. Investigative news stories come into being in either of two ways:
There are certain points or guidelines that an investigative reporter should adhere like:
Facts and other information of this write-up are extracted from my old journal and old clippings when I took up my creative writing course with the Writers Bureau in Manchester, London by mail and also from my old notes when I took up my Journalism and Short Story Writing course with the ICS (International Correspondence School), Pennsylvania, USA by mail.
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