Reporting, means collection or gathering of facts about current events or background material required for a news story or feature.
Reporters do it through interviews, investigations and observation. Reporters are given directions by editors to cover a particular event, known as assignments. They may be general assignments or special ones. Reporters write the news stories, which are called copies. A reporter should write with clarity, objectivity and accuracy. A reporter who covers a particular area or subject specialises in that.
A person who edits is called an editor. Editing is a process by which a report is read, corrected, modified, value-added, polished, improved and made better for publication. Condensation is also part of editing.
The copy of the report has been improved by the editor and is therefore easier to read and understand. The editor also decides whether photographs or other images or graphs should be used along with the report. A good editor needs creative skills, command over the language, ideas to improve the copy and correct judgement about how much importance should be given to a particular news item.
We call a news report a news story. These are factual stories - events that have happened or things that are going to happen. Like a good story teller, the reporter has to narrate the story before the reader or listener or viewer. reporters get news stories from various sources.
The following are the main sources:
a) Listening: A reporter can get good stories by listening to others. The reporter goes to the accident site to collect all this information. The reporter's job does not end there. He has to inform the photographer about the accident. The next day's newspaper should also carry some good photographs about the accident.
b) Covering events : "India-Pakistan cricket Test in Mumbai", Kumbhmela in Haridwar", "International Film Festival in Goa ", these are all events. Reporters cover these events for their publications, channels or new bulletins. The coverage depends upon the importance and magnitude of the event. A small panchayat level meeting will be covered locally, whereas a state level function will get wider coverage. If it is a national event, it will receive nationwide attention.
c) Press conferences: Another major source of news is the press conference. Leaders of political parties hold press conferences regularly. Ministers also hold press conferences to announce various programmes and policies of the government. Business houses arrange press conferences to launch their new products. Organisations and Associations also held press briefings.
d) Reports and statements:. These are another major sources of news items. Various commissions and committees submit their reports to the Government which are a goldmine as far as news reporters are concerned.
e) Parliament and Assemblies:- Parliament and state assemblies when in session generate lot of news. Questions in both the houses of parliament, proceedings, calling attentions, zero-hour mentions, debates and various acts passed by the parliament also make news. The general budget and railway budget are presented in parliament. State budgets are presented in state assemblies.
lice sources: The police are in charge of law and order. So the police always maintain a close vigil about various activities of citizens. Reporters get details about crime, accidents etc. from police sources.
g) Interviews: Interviewing people connected with an event or incident is a very common practice used by reporters to get details. Television reporters take the opinion of people which are called reactions. Occasionally, reporters of newspapers and channels conduct long interviews with important people.
News can also originate from government and non-government sources, courts, airports, railway stations, educational institutions, hospitals etc.