Discovering the explanatory report in American newspapers
Type of work: Article (academic)
This study of the explanatory report attempts to make a meaningful contribution to the history of the American newspaper by synthesizing existing historical knowledge of the form, documenting the history of the Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Journalism, and analyzing the explanatory reports that have won the Pulitzer Prize in this category. This study also offers insights from that history to suggest how newspapers in America might improve their products in the service of democracy. A fundamental strategy, as demonstrated in the exemplary reports identified by the Pulitzer juries, is the greater use of storytelling in explanatory journalism. Such a change might help increase readership and better serve the mandate of the American press to strengthen democracy through fostering discourse in the public sphere.