Explanatory journalism

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Explanatory journalism or explanatory reporting is a form of reporting that attempts to present ongoing news stories in a more accessible manner by providing greater context than would be presented in traditional news sources.[1][2][3] The term is often associated with the explanatory news website Vox,[1][4][5] but explanatory reporting (previously explanatory journalism) has also been a Pulitzer Prize category since 1985.[6][7] Other examples include The Upshot by The New York Times, Bloomberg Quicktake, The Conversation, and FiveThirtyEight.[8]

Relation to analytic journalism[edit]

Journalism professor Michael Schudson says explanatory journalism and analytic journalism are the same, because both attempt to "explain a complicated event or process in a comprehensible narrative" and require "intelligence and a kind of pedagogical flair, linking the capacity to understand a complex situation with a knack for transmitting that understanding to a broad public."[9] Schudson says explanatory journalists "aid democracy."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Mann, Thomas E. (29 February 2016). "Explanatory journalism: A tool in the war against polarization and dysfunction". Brookings Institution. Archived from the original on 12 November 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  2. ^ Zhang, Qifan (28 February 2016). "Explaining the news builds audience for it". News Literacy 2016. NYU Arthur L. Carter Institute. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  3. ^ McDermott, John (17 March 2014). "Explaining what's behind the sudden allure of explanatory journalism". Digiday. Archived from the original on 24 May 2020. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  4. ^ Bercovici, Jeff (12 May 2014). "Why Do So Many Journalists Hate Vox?". Forbes. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  5. ^ Jaffe, Harry (30 May 2014). "How Explanatory Journalism Wants to Spell It All Out for You". Washingtonian. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Explanatory Reporting". The Pulitzer Prizes. Columbia University. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  7. ^ Sterling, Christopher H., ed. (2009). "Appendix A. The Pulitzer Prizes". Encyclopedia of Journalism. Vol. 6. SAGE Publications. p. 1877. ISBN 978-0-7619-2957-4.
  8. ^ Wihbey, John (December 12, 2014). "Journalism-school reform in the context of wider media trends". Journalist's Resource. Retrieved October 11, 2021.
  9. ^ Schudson, Michael. (2008). Why democracies need an unlovable press. Cambridge, UK: Polity. ISBN 978-0-7456-4452-3. OCLC 228224817.

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