By Ginna Royalty
The Wall Street Journal always has great examples of creative journalism. They offer a variety of stories that are sure to brighten anyone’s day.
William E. Blundell: The Life of a Cowboy: Drudgery and Danger
William E. Blundell was a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal for 30 years. Blundell uses a six-point outline for every story he writes to organize his thoughts. By reading his stories, such as “The Life of a Cowboy: Drudgery and Danger,” you can see the progression of outline falling into the story. He draws the readers in with a story about branding and earmarking a cow for a story about cowboys, “Wrapping a turn of rope around the saddle horn, the rider drags the hapless animal to his crew.” He also utilizes subheadings to divide up the article and provide a fun transition.
Peter Rinearson: Making It Fly: Designing the 757
Peter Rinearson makes readers interested in stories filled with technical stories. He uses details and rich words to provide a funny reveal of corporate culture, such as in “Making It Fly: Designing the 757.” “Here’s an example of how public relations people are not necessarily the journalist’s best friend,” said Rinearson. “Boeing did not want the chicken tests written about. Period.” He worked hard to understand what he was writing so that his readers would understand it, and it’s better to look stupid to your sources than to look stupid to year readers. When reading “Making It Fly: Designing the 757,” you would have no idea that Rinearson struggled to understand the material at first.
Michael Gartner: Property Tax Exemptions: Legal but Terribly Unfair
Michael Gartner helped run newsrooms all across the country for 40 years. He composes editorials “that are lyrical, clear and meant to be read aloud.” He is a lawyer and a journalist and keeps readers on their toes and always changes the pace. He utilizes one and two-word sentences and the power of repetition, “Should be, but isn’t.” “Could make, but doesn’t.” “Would be, but isn’t.” “Would.” In “Property Tax Exemptions: Legal but Terribly Unfair,” he makes the piece sound as if it is spoken or sung. He builds his arguments on strong reporting details and concrete figures.
Other Business Reporting and Explanatory Journalism
The New York Times is also a great example of a newspaper with great editorials. Their journalists cover a variety of topics. This particular one covered the aftermath of Edward Snowden’s disclosure of secret government surveillance programs and the Patriot Act. They called for its restriction or repeal in this hard-hitting editorial.
The Quest for Transgender EqualityThis New York Times editorial tracked the progress of transgender rights in the United States. Readers provided hundreds of their own stories and the editorial also discussed all of the challenges that still remain, while still keeping an aspect of hope.
This Wall Street Journal editorial discussed the Clinton administration’s firing of employees from the White House Travel Office in 1993. It provides insight into the Clinton administration and the cronyism and corner-cutting which could have occurred.