There are a number of journalistic forms and styles, here are a few:
- Investigative: a primary source of information, which unearths unethical and illegal behavior by individuals, companies and government agencies. These pieces usually take a long time to construct and are orchestrated by a large team who conduct interviews, analyze data and travel great distances to gather evidence to support their claims.
- Ambush: Journalist’s who approach individuals in the spotlight off guard in public places, they use aggressive questioning tactics in the hope of a news worthy response. This is often associated with ‘Gotcha’ journalism, a term that describes journalistic methods that are designed to entrap people into making damaging statements.
- Convergence: or ‘new journalism’ is the use of multiple media forms together, such as print, graphics and video.
- Gonzo: characterized by its punchy witty style and arduous language. It’s known for throwing off the restraints of conventional journalistic writing forms. Its unique style gives up objectivity in favor of immersion, usually first hand perspective, which is drawn from popular culture, fiction and philosophical literary styles. It was popularized by the American writer Hunter S. Thompson, author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 and the Rolling Stone magazine.
- News: Facts are relayed in a straight forward style without any jazz. These stories usually lack the depth a feature story offers or the questioning approach of an investigative piece.
- Reviews: Are mainly opinion based, from a critic or authoritative voice from within that field.
- Columns: Stem from the personality of the writer, who takes their own style, opinion to a topic of their choice and are recognized by their individual voice.
- Feature writing: Explores a subject from all angles, with a dense nut graph*. They offer the biggest work count of all types of journalism, features are lengthy pieces and often incorporate interviews.
- Blogging: This is what I do, as you can see. It’s a combination of many forms but without the restraint of most print T&C’s. It is an outlet for writers to write casually about whatever crosses their mind. Blogs can inspire social trends as well as provide a platform for book writers, journalists and presenters.
*The Nut Graph
‘In American English journalism terminology, a nut graph is a paragraph, particularly in a feature story, that explains the news value of the story’, Wikipedia.
If you’d like some historical background on journalistic styles an interesting read can be found here