We explain what journalistic texts are, what their functions and characteristics are. In addition, the types that exist and their importance.
What are journalistic texts?
Journalistic texts are texts published in written media (such as newspapers, magazines or informative web pages ) whose main function is to inform the reader about a topic of general interest.
Journalistic texts are written by journalists or by an expert in a subject and, although their main function is usually to inform, many of them are also written to express opinions or delve into a topic. They are distinguished from other types of texts by their intention and by the medium in which they are published.
Characteristics of journalistic texts
Some characteristics of journalistic texts are:
- They are heterogeneous . They deal with a wide variety of topics and transmit political, economic, educational, cultural, social and sports information of national or international importance. In many cases, the journalistic media are divided into sections and there are also specialized media, which are those that only contain texts on a specific topic, such as cultural magazines or sports media.
- They are of general interest . They are not aimed at a single reader but at society as a whole and deal with current issues, which distinguishes them from other types of texts, such as literary ones.
- They have one or several authors . They can be written by a single person or by several, and they can be journalists or specialists in the subject to be addressed. Other people, such as proofreaders or editors, also participate in the process of generating and publishing the text.
- They are posted on various channels . Journalistic texts can be published in printed newspapers and magazines or in digital media. In addition, many journalists transmit their texts through radio or television .
- They are composed of linguistic signs . Journalistic texts are transmitted in written or oral form and use a code made up of linguistic signs. The text can also be accompanied by images, diagrams, schemes or illustrations.
- They use a clear, concise and correct style . Journalistic texts use a formal and direct style and a specialized lexicon if the subject requires it.
Types of journalistic texts
Depending on their function, journalistic texts can belong to the following journalistic genres :
- Informative journalistic texts . They are those texts whose main function is to transmit certain information. For example: a news article.
- Journalistic opinion texts . They are those texts in which the writer conveys an opinion about a topic or event. For example: an opinion piece .
- Mixed journalistic texts . They are those texts that include both information and opinions. For example: an art critic .
Examples of journalistic texts
Some of the most important journalistic texts are:
- Journalistic note
It is a brief and objective story about a current and novel event or situation that generates interest in the population to which the medium is directed. In your extension you must explain the what? who? when? where? and because? of what it describes.
It is usually written by a journalist in the third person and does not offer the editor’s opinions or points of view, but rather exposes the information in a clear, concrete and objective way. The journalistic note presents the information from the most particular or important to the general, in what is known as an “inverted pyramid structure”. Its extension varies and its basic structure has a title, download and body.
Within a newspaper, the notes are classified into sections according to topics such as politics, economy, society, culture, countryside, among others.
- journalistic chronicle
It is a journalistic text that relates in a chronological and detailed way a certain event or current event or of interest to the reader. It is a hybrid genre because it includes both objective data and the opinions or points of view of the writer.
It is usually written by a journalist or another person who witnessed an event and the facts are told chronologically and with direct and simple vocabulary . It can be, for example, the chronicle of an election day, the chronicle of a recital, the chronicle of a war, a football match or a trip.
It is a journalistic text that expresses the editor’s opinion about a product or cultural event. It is usually a short text that includes the journalist’s opinions, but also data about the work described.
Reviews are made about events, books, movies, recitals or current music that arouses general interest for some reason. They are written by journalists or people specialized in the matter and have a structure based on a record of the event or product analyzed and an opinion of the editor.
- opinion piece
It is a journalistic text in which the individual presents his opinion about a certain situation or a current topic of interest to the reader.
Opinion articles are written in the first person and can be written by journalists or by people who are experts in the subject matter of the text, such as writers, philosophers, economists, politicians, scientists, among others. They are almost always signed, except in the case of the so-called “editorials”, which are opinion texts that expose the point of view on some subject of the medium in which they are published.
- journalistic interview
It is a journalistic text that reproduces the interview that one person (the interviewer) does to another (the interviewee) with the aim of knowing the opinion and points of view of the interviewee on some topic or event.
Its structure consists of a first paragraph in which the interviewee is introduced and their main characteristics are exposed, and then a question-answer format. The interviews are conducted with personalities from different fields, such as scientists, artists, politicians, athletes, researchers, who are on the public agenda and are current for some reason.
It is an extensive and detailed journalistic text that deals with some event, character or current issue that arouses general interest. In most cases, this type of text is accompanied by images and can include both data and opinions of the editor.
The reportage is usually the product of a journalistic investigation , in which the journalist investigates an issue thoroughly and then exposes it. It can deal with various topics and its structure is based on a title and a body or development.
Journalistic texts and current affairs
Journalism deals with current issues, however, the relevance of an event is not determined solely by the time it occurred, but by various factors:
- Closeness . Events that occur in a city or region may not have relevance at a national or international level but, in any case, be the subject of a journalistic text in a local distribution medium, since individuals are interested in nearby events, even if they do not have much overall importance.
- Political, social or economic factors . Facts that modify in some way the political, economic or social panorama of a community are considered current.
- Fame of the protagonists . Facts that are inconsequential or of a private nature can become newsworthy if they happen to a person who stands out in some discipline or field and is recognized by a large portion of the population .
- progress . Facts that imply a significant change in the field of science , technology , sports or any other human activity are considered current.
- Conflict and the unusual . Facts that alter the usual course of events become current.
Journalistic texts on the internet
With the rise of the internet in the last century, journalism was modified and gradually colonized the web . This generated a decrease in the consumption of paper publications, because the public began to obtain information through the Internet quickly and constantly.
The development of digital journalism allows people to be informed from their computer or mobile phone instantly and to interact with other netizens and with the media. The journalistic texts published on these platforms combine texts with images, videos and audios and can be shared immediately.
The websites that users choose to get information can be specialized blogs, 100% digital newspapers and magazines, or the web version of newspapers and magazines that also have a paper publication . Some media offer their content for free and others require a prior subscription.
Despite these advantages, the rise of journalistic information on the Internet also poses a risk for the reader, due to the amount of unverified information available and the appearance of so-called fake news , which is news that is transmitted at high speed through of social networks and who take for granted something that is not.
In order to consume verified information on the Internet and not fall for deceit and misinformation, it is important that the reader go to qualified sources and obtain the information from prestigious sites or from those who know the origin. Readers are also recommended not to forward information whose source or veracity is unknown, in order to stop the spread of fake news .
- “Journalism genres” on Wikipedia .
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