What is the journalistic chronicle?
When we talk about the journalistic chronicle, we refer to a type of text that belongs to the area of social communication and journalism, focused on the story and the construction of facts of a situation in an organized manner, following a chronological order of these to make it known. In other words, it is a text that narrates facts in a similar way as if a story, anecdote, event or experience were told.
This category is part of the journalistic texts within the field of non-literary texts, and therefore, one of the most important in its area. It does not comprise a fictional style about an event, but is in fact subjected to the reality of the facts. It is addressed to an interested public that wishes to go deeper into the fact that is being told.
Main characteristics of the journalistic chronicle
In order to understand on a larger scale what the journalistic chronicle consists of, let us now look at a series of aspects that allow us to distinguish it from other types of text, in addition to journalistic texts. These are:
Variety of topics
Among the most important features of the journalistic chronicle is the fact that it can cover a great variety of situations that are related to multiple topics. Thus, the writer has the possibility of writing a journalistic chronicle on social, political, cultural, economic, political, artistic, sports, among many others that allow him to follow up on a given situation.
It is always about a true fact, since one of its main faculties is precisely the veracity of the text.
One of the most important aspects of this type of text has to do precisely with the type of reader to whom it is addressed. Thus, the journalistic chronicle is aimed at a very wide audience, since it focuses on attracting several readers. These readers and, in general, the constitution of the audience, relate and unite precisely because they share their interest in the fact that is being told.
Importance of details
In a journalistic chronicle, the writer must use all those aspects, details and elements that are essential to tell the story, however, it is also necessary to include all those that instead of diverting the attention from the fact, help to enrich it. That is why it is very important to include all the details in the narrative, following a very careful description of the events that are being told. This element is also key to retain the reader’s attention and interest.
Writing and research
In the course of writing, the author must not only continue the writing exercise, but this implies a process of research and study about the topic about which he/she is going to write. Therefore, it is necessary to prioritize the research time that provides the author with complete information or most of it if it is in progress, in order to have a much broader view of the subject and thus develop a good journalistic chronicle.
Although it is a narrative, it is very important to consider that it is part of the non-literary texts, which is why the objective sense is a fundamental element of the journalistic chronicle. The way in which the fact is told apparently gives the impression of being a perception of the writer, however, it is far from it because it always refers to real information that can be verified, as well as the evaluations in relation to the fact.
Use of language
The way in which the writer uses language in this type of text is a very important aspect, since the way it is received by the public depends to a great extent on it. That is why the journalistic chronicle formulates the use of a simple language, because in this way it facilitates the understanding of the text to a greater number of public, also taking into account that it is addressed to a wide variety of readers who are interested in the fact.
The journalistic chronicle is a type of non-literary text that allows the author to show his own writing style in the narration. This is because it is a format that opens the doors to several literary resources, among them rhetorical figures, through which the author enriches the way in which he tells the facts without leaving aside the objectivity and veracity of the information he presents.
Structure of the journalistic chronicle
The way in which an event is narrated may include several possibilities that give rise to various structures, so that there is no specific scheme that applies to all the journalistic chronicles that are developed. However, it is possible to identify elements that frequently appear in its construction. Thus, we find the following:
In this part of the beginning of the text, there is mainly the title of the journalistic chronicle. This title may be accompanied by a subtitle or a small text in which a general and introductory overview is offered to the reader about the subject or the most important aspects of the event to be presented. In this way, if the writer considers it necessary, a first paragraph can be built in the initial part.
In the second part, we find the content of the chronicle, which, as we have mentioned, can have a much broader style due to the expressive and stylistic freedom that the writer has. Here, all the facts that are part of the event are developed in an organized way, showing all the information that has been collected with details and important complementary data.
Closing or conclusion
Although there may or may not be a closing of the story, many writers add a final part in which they can show, as a reflection, the most important and determining ideas or events of the situation that occurred. It is even possible that some writers present an evaluation of the chronicle in the initial part. In general, if it is a story that is still ongoing, there may not be a concrete closure.
Types of journalistic chronicles
According to the approach or the topic from which this text is developed, it is possible to classify it into a certain category. In this sense, we can find several types of journalistic chronicles that we identify below:
This type of journalistic chronicle is mainly characterized by the fact that the author or writer of the text focuses on an event, occurrence or fact that has developed in the urban environment or in the city. They are often events that involve people who live in cities and in which the whole story takes place.
It is one of the most widespread types of chronicle in the field of journalism and social communication, since they are texts that show a high interest on the part of the public. In general, it is a type of chronicle that narrates events about problems, conflicts, experiences or expressions that are part of a specific social group that the writer studies and investigates.
In this type of chronicle we find the narration of facts or events that go back to an important historical or legendary time. They are often chronicles that include themes such as wars, battles or strong confrontations of epic character in their narration.
In this modality we find a chronicle whose main characteristic is focused on the chronology fully realized, which includes a nuance in the text and a dialogue close to the costumbrista, reason why it often presents a social criticism with a picaresque sense in its development.
In another type of journalistic chronicle we find the local chronicle, which narrates events that have developed in relatively more distant areas. These are texts that usually deal with much more specific issues, but this time with a wider range of distance.
This is one of the broadest categories of the journalistic chronicle, since it is possible to find stories or events that have developed in different fields, whether they narrate cultural, political, sports, artistic events, among others. Hence, it owes its name to its specialization in a specific field.
In this type of text are all those chronicles that are responsible for telling stories, experiences or events that are part of the memory or event of a trip. Several types of text can be written on this subject, the chronicle is one of the most important due to the chronological description format that facilitates the narration of a story to an audience.
How to write a journalistic chronicle
The elaboration of this type of documents requires a very well studied planning through which the text allows to observe the veracity of the facts and in this way to fulfill its informative objective. That is why we have gathered a series of aspects that should be considered when writing a journalistic chronicle, these are:
Research about the topic
To start writing it is necessary to know what is going to be written and this implies having knowledge of the subject. The importance of truthfulness is key and, in fact, the main pillar of this type of journalistic texts, so it is necessary to take the time to investigate very well all the points surrounding the fact, verify the sources and in this way the journalistic chronicle can be sustained. The first thing to do is to investigate the variety of sources, consult documents, audiovisual material if possible, gather testimonies, etc.
Organization of the information
According to the way in which the author wishes to present the subject, he/she must organize the information on which his/her writing will be based. We must remember that this is a type of text that must present situations in a sequential and chronological order, which is why it is convenient to organize the information, sources and resources as the facts will be presented in order to complement them.
Approach at the beginning
When the writing of the text begins, it is necessary that in this first part the author looks for forcefulness in the initial part, that is to say, to speak directly of the situation that is going to be presented throughout the text without any kind of detour. The beginning should capture the reader’s attention and at the same time contextualize the topic to be developed, which is why the author should be direct at this stage.
Defining the style
It is important that the author gradually builds a style that allows him to identify his writings. In general, it is necessary to have a rich and varied language that avoids the repetition of terms, for example. Although you should use simple language, you have many tools at hand to achieve clarity and precision with a defined style based on certain characteristics, one of which is the way in which you expose situations, the structure or modality of the chronicle you choose to narrate the facts, the discursive technique you use, among others.
End of the journalistic chronicle
The moment of ending the chronicle depends fundamentally on the author, since, especially when it is a fact whose investigation is still ongoing, he/she may choose to close it with an open ending or subject to the reader’s decision. It can also end when the whole investigation is finished, when the questions raised at the beginning and content of the text have been solved, or when the testimonies and evidence respond to them.
Revision is one of the steps that the author cannot omit because it allows him to identify from the simplest to the most complex fault. That is why the text must go through at least two objective and careful readings where the organization, coherence and cohesion of the information is verified, as well as the chronology and correspondence of the ideas presented so that the reader can easily understand the information that has been presented.
The journalistic chronicle is one of the types of text of greatest interest to the public, which is why it is one of the most worked in the journalistic environment. If you want to know more about other types of journalistic text, or other types of text in the literary and non-literary field, remember that in our section dedicated to this artistic field you can find much more information to continue learning.