News Reporting Definition, Types and Perquisites

Thu, 09/17/2015 - 09:18 -- Umar Farooq

Definition of News Reporting

News reporting involves discovering all relevant facts, selecting and presenting the important facts and weaving a comprehensive story. Reporting involves hard work, which in turn involves stamina and patience. The main function of journalistic profession is news reporting.

A reporter needs not only energy to spend long hours chasing a story, collecting facts from various sources in an effort to dig up the truth, he needs must have the will to pursue the course of his investigation to the very end in order to produce a really comprehensive story without any missing links or unanswered questions.

In the modern age news journalism the responsibilities of the press have grown manifold. These days, the people are governed by multiplicity of authorities, viz. Municipality, District Administration, State Government and the Central Government. Even non-governmental authorities are involved in the lives of the people in one-way or the other. Man cannot live alone. He is a social animal. The way his neighbours behave or act affects him. Man is thus anxious to know more about the world he lives in. Satisfaction of this curiosity is the major task of a good journalist.

The variety and the depth of news has, of late, increased manifold. In fact, newspapers, magazines and periodicals have become the main source of information for the people. This fact underscores the need for accuracy in news reporting. Giving inaccurate news or putting out news in a casual manner is fraught with grave dangers. A journalist, who is careless in news reporting or indulges in lies, is a disgrace to the profession. It is better to ease him out from this profession. If a journalist reports that 50 persons belonging to a particular community ,died as a result of communal riot when in fact only 5 persons had lost their lives, his misreporting can trigger off a major communal flare up and pose grave threat to law and order.

A journalist should not only perform unbiased news reporting but should bear full responsibility for the accuracy of the facts

Types of News Reporting

There are different types of news reporting which are as under:-‑

  1. Investigative Reporting
  2. Court Reporting
  3. Accidence Reporting
  4. Political Reporting
  5. Fashion Reporting
  6. Business Reporting
  7. Sports Reporting
  8. Specialized Reporting

Requisites of News Reporting

A News Reporter should follow the following steps

  1. A reporter must appreciate the importance of having a good reputation for absolute reliability. For this purpose he must be systematic in his habits and punctual in keeping his appointments. By observing these principles, every reporter can make his path smooth and trouble free.
  2. A reporter should have the ability of news reporting and writing skills in the language of his paper. He should possess the quality to compose in a condensed manner as per allowable space.
  3. The reporter of any local newspaper occupies a unique position and he becomes quite popular with the people of his town. He reports the local events, functions, fairs, socials etc. and comes closer to the social life of the town. A reporter should follow some professional ethics in his work. Sometimes, while engaged in his profession, he may come to some persons and develop confidential relations with them.
  4. Sometimes, a reporter may be asked to write short length paragraphs regarding the local intelligence or about the city news. For this he should keep his eyes and ears open and develop a nose for local news. He should develop a system to ensure that none of the interesting news is missed by him. He should try to know the secretaries of social, religious, political, musical dramatic, legal, official and other organizations and should call upon them regularly to get some interesting stories. He should make inquiries from the police regarding news of accidents and crimes. He should also contact the fire-station for the particulars of local fires.
  5. Every reporter should keep an engagement diary. In this way he can systematize his working and attend to all his appointments properly and punctually. By keeping an engagement diary he can know about the important engagements and other events in the future and cover them without fail.
  6. The reporter should not forget to give a head line to his typed copy. Every copy which goes to the printer to be set is given a catchline. The catchline is a key word, because during the production it identifies all the sheets of the copy. Tile catchline is given on each sheet so that the printer can collate the whole story. The catchline should be chosen very carefully. It is better to choose an uncommon word, which may not resemble with another news catchline.