By Christina Elias

The subject of a story isn’t the only determining factor of whether it’s interesting or not – in Chapter 5 of America’s Best Newspaper Writing, the authors highlight creative writing in categories (like business) that readers would typically toss aside as boring. For example, great examples of creative reporting can be found on the front page of The Wall Street Journal, in their A-Head column. Explanatory journalism is very similar to business reporting but encompasses a wider range of topics.

William E. Blundelltop-10-tips-ch-5

Blundell was an A-Head regular at The Wall Street Journal, where he incorporated narration, good reporting, information, and things like pop culture into his business writing. Blundell said he uses six categories for each article he writes to help organize the various components.

His piece on cowboys drops readers into the midst of the story and illustrates the role of cowboys in the United States in the late 20th century through anecdotes from his sources and information about their income and standards of living.

Peter Rinearson

Rinearson worked for The Seattle Times before getting into business himself. During his stint as an award-winning reporter, he captivated readers’ interest by leaving them “gold coins” or interesting pieces of information as they continued into the story. His article about the process behind creating the Boeing 757 includes those gold coins in addition to the detail and care needed to help non-engineers understand the information.

Michael Gartner

Gartner has worked for multiple news outlets throughout his career. He has won awards for his “editorials that lyrical, clear and meant to be read aloud.” Gartner’s writing is an example of how to deliver opinion and solid information together successfully by using the information to build up to the point he is trying to make.

Other examples:

How Trump Might Become a Workplace Disrupter

by Charles Duhigg, The New York Times

This article is a great example of both business and explanatory journalism because it explores just how the new administration could impact American workers and businesses going forward.

How the food stamp diet is leaving the Rio Grande Valley both hungry and obese

By Eli Saslow, The Washington Post

Saslow’s article looks at the food stamp system as a whole and its health implications through a regional lens and featuring a family who utilizes the government-funded program. He uses both anecdotes and numbers to try to break down something Americans who are not on food stamps might not know much about.


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