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Journalism: Sources & Angles

November 25, 2010

What came first in this story in yesterday’s Independnt about the forthcoming royal wedding? The sources or the angle?

Sources underlined

I suspect it’s the angle. It must surely work like this. Determine what the obvious angle will be on the prospect of a second four-day bank holiday weekend in two weeks (Hurrah! What fantastic news! More time off work!) then examine who will be affected by the increased time off (business). Go find your sources. Get some quotes. Write it. Get it subbed. Move on to the next story.

Broken down into it’s constituent parts (I’ve underlined the sources in the report (pictured above), the reality of reporting is laid bare. And with ‘comment’ clearly marked above Economics Editor’s Sean O’Grady beneath the pictured report, the reader is left in no doubt as to where the facts are, whose got the opinion and what it is. Where this story is concerned, its clear the Independent is projecting a gloomy image, dismissing the sappy romanticism colouring most commentary about the royal wedding and replacing it with a cold dose of reality. God bless the Indepedent.

It’s speculation, of course. It’s another case of crystal ball gazing. Because the key element in the story is only that we now know (a good longer after the Cabinet does, it seems) there’ll be a bank holiday and that one or two people have voiced their collective opinions about it.

Personally, I sigh at the lack of new ‘facts’ – something which says far more about me than it does about the reporter or the paper, I hasten to add – but am quite pleased to have been force fed an entirely different angle on proceedings.

Sometimes it’s the angle which speaks louder than the words.

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