Journalistic Texts: Characteristics, Structure, Types, Examples

The journalistic texts are those texts whose main objective is to inform the public about recent events. From this it can be deduced that a journalistic text will always be a writing about events that occurred in the present.

This clarification is important especially when taking into account the medium in which they appear (newspapers, newspapers, etc.) and the material, that is, very inexpensive low-quality paper where news is massively printed and discarded once. read.

This is one of the factors that differentiate them from other types of text, such as essays, typical of philosophy and literature, where the date does not matter, since they do not tend to lose validity over time.

In journalistic texts, the link with current events is mandatory, as both newspapers and newspapers publish events and events of general interest to inform and update their readers on them.

Characteristics of journalistic texts

The main objective is to inform

Journalists or social communicators, when exercising their profession, write in a certain way. As the intention is to inform or communicate events to a wide audience, you should adopt a simple style that attracts attention and is easy to understand.

But it’s not just about getting people to read the news, it’s about reporting the facts as objectively as possible. In this sense, the discursive modality (that is, the way it is expressed) will be the exposition, the description, the narration and the dialogue (in the case of interviews). These common characteristics are three: clarity, conciseness and correctness.

Clarity

The journalist must adopt a neutral style using standard Spanish, which can be understood by any speaker of the language. This means that you will prefer a simple language structure and avoid regional idioms as much as possible.

Conciseness

Conciseness is brevity. In general, journalistic texts are short, short, “concise”, and information tends to be condensed.

Correction

This type of text must use an exemplary language (although it is not always fulfilled). As it is a “showcase of the language”, it reproduces the linguistic uses and standardizes them, being able to form a place of legitimation of the language.

It is not about not using bad words, that too, but about using the words of our language correctly.

Types of journalistic text

There are two main types: informative journalistic texts and opinion journalistic texts.

– Informative texts

The intention of these texts is to inform, make known and explain recent events and events of general interest. They are subdivided in turn into news, report and interview.

News

The news is a story of something that has happened recently and is important for society, hence it should be reviewed. In newspapers and newspapers, the news is usually distributed in modules or sections of a thematic nature: national, international news, economy, society, health, sports, culture, etc.

It is a short text about a current event. The author’s opinions do not appear and it is written in 3rd person.

Reportage

The report, contrary to the news, does not necessarily deal with a current event. It is like news that is explained in more detail, and where a more literary style of language has a place. It bears the signature of its author.

It is much more documented and comprehensive and is the result of what is called “investigative journalism”, where the author is dedicated to delving into the subject matter, but always of interest to society.

Interview

It is a text in the form of a dialogue between the interviewer and a specialist on some subject. When this is the case, it is called an information interview. When the person being interviewed is the topic of interest, it is called a personality interview.

Usually, there is a short introduction by the interviewer introducing the interviewee (who they are and relevant data), followed by the body of the interview, that is, the interviewer’s questions and the interviewee’s answers.

– Journalistic opinion texts

These texts want to express the opinions of their authors, and they are subdivided into 4 types: the editorial, the article, the letters to the editor and the chronicle.

Editorial

It is a feature article that is not signed, it can be written by any person on the board of directors of a medium and expresses the editorial line of that newspaper or newspaper, as well as its ideology.

His tone is serious and thoughtful, and deals with current and relevant issues for society.

Article

It has a greater subjective load and an express literary will of its author. In the article, writers, philosophers, scientists or intellectuals, specialists in various cultural or social branches, write, comment and reflect on important issues with absolute freedom.

The author gives his personal opinion on the subject he is dealing with, and does not have to follow the editorial line of the newspaper. As an example, we can mention the writer Mario Vargas Llosa who usually publishes articles in the newspaper El País in Spain.

Within this type, it is worth mentioning the column, which is shorter (and that is why it is called a column) and is written by a regular contributor to the newspaper, even if it is not on the employee template. An example would be the column that the writer Antonio Muñoz Molina maintains in the cultural supplement of El País , “Babelia”, which appears every Saturday.

Letters to the editor

They are letters from readers expressing their opinions on many topics, generally current. Sometimes they also work as a means of protest or to express disagreement with some news or topic covered in the newspaper.

Chronicle

It is considered a mixed text, between news and opinion. Although it is written in 3rd person, its style leans more to the literary thing, sometimes being able to use the 1st person. It shares some characteristics with the report, but it usually reports on more recent current affairs.

The most common are the society chronicle, the sports chronicle or the police chronicle.

Structure of the journalistic text

The structure of journalistic texts will change according to their type. A fixed structure is most noticeable in informative or news texts: it consists of the headline, epigraph or pre-title (which may or may not be present), subtitle, lead or entry and the body.

Headline

It is formally highlighted and will always be in larger print. Its function is to capture the interest of the reader, but also to delimit the news and summarize it. Generally speaking, it is the news.

Pretitle

If there is more than one holder, the one that precedes it is called a pre-title. In general, you add information or you can refine the content.

Subtitle

Both the pretitle and the subtitle may or may not appear. When there is a subtitle, it works as a summary or summary of the news, with the most relevant aspects of the event.

Lead or input

This is the name of the first paragraph of the text. It is a kind of introduction that informs in a little more detail than the headlines about what the news is about. Here the information contained answers the following questions: what ?, who ?, when ?, why ?, for what? and how?

Body

The structure is what is called an “inverted pyramid” where the information is broken down. It incorporates antecedents or consequences of what happened, comments from witnesses, etc., ranking the news from the most important to the least relevant.

This structure was widely used before in newspapers because if you had to cut something out of the news for reasons of space and composition, it was easier not to lose important information.

It continues to be maintained because it helps reading fluency.

Examples of journalistic texts

Let’s look at two examples of journalistic texts:

Example 1

A new:

“QUARANTINE IS SOFTENED IN BUENOS AIRES (HOLDER)

The President of the Republic gave the keys for progressive staging (SUBTITLE)

At a press conference, Alberto Fernández, together with the Buenos Aires head of government, announced how he will gradually return to a normal and habitual life in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, between July 18 and August 2 (LEAD OR INPUT)

(BODY) Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, head of Government of Buenos Aires, reported that the quarantine will be reopened in a staggered manner in six stages, and that an evaluation will be made after each one to analyze data on infections or deaths.

The first stage will last two weeks and shops and activities will gradually reopen: churches and temples will be able to open their doors, although the number of people cannot exceed 10.

Lawyers, hairdressers, and psychologists will be able to start working and serving clients. Family outdoor activities will also be expanded in public spaces and parks from Monday, July 20, between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. the following day.

The city’s head of government reiterated that face-to-face classes will continue to be suspended, as well as cultural and sporting events, until a later stage, which will be after August 7. Likewise, public transport will be restricted only to workers in essential sectors of the economy, such as health and food.

These gradual measures are due to the fact that after trying to reopen the quarantine, the contagion cases doubled from 400 a day to 800 a day ”.

Example 2

A chronicle:

“THE USE OF THE CHIN HAS BEEN IMPOSED (HOLDER)

Going out with the mask has become a fashion (SUBTITLE)

(BODY) Like everything, an imposed behavior has ended up becoming habitual. In the streets of Buenos Aires everyone walks with a mask or chinstrap, it doesn’t matter if they wear it badly: many put it under their nose “to breathe”, they say, completely ignoring that it is useless that way.

All the stores, supermarkets and nearby businesses that have opened show different models of masks, with sometimes outrageous prices, and made in the most varied materials: from half transparent gauze to thick and printed fabrics.

Of course, the merchants have seen a niche and an opportunity: there are masks in the colors of the football club flags, with printed memes, in the pro-life or pro-abortion colors (that is, blue or green), with the LGBT flag or of any country in the world.

Let’s remember that Buenos Aires is a cosmopolitan city, which brings together a large number of immigrants of very varied origins: Italians, Spanish, English, Germans, Venezuelans, Bolivians, Peruvians, Colombians and a long, long etcetera.

It is common and usual to see yourself in the mirror with your face half covered when you leave the house, and to see everyone’s face half covered.

Today I left home to buy bread. A girl passed me by and I noticed something very strange, that I could not locate. I was thinking about it until I found the strange thing: she was not wearing the mask and I could see her face freely.

It is time to return to normality ”.

References

  1. Yánes Mesa, R. (2003). The news and the interview. An approach to its concept and structure. Communication Magazine Ámbitos, 9-10, pp. 239-272. Taken from idus.us.es.
  2. Journalistic text (2020). Taken from ecured.cu.
  3. Journalistic texts (2020). Taken from educa.madrid.org.
  4. Read and write better. Journalistic text (2020). University of Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano Foundation. Taken from utadeo.edu.co.
  5. Journalistic texts (2020). Taken from hiru.eus/es.

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