An analysis is based on a news story but it is more analytical. It differs from news features or other kinds of feature stories in that, rather than exposing facts and investigating or telling a story, its main aim is to explain.
An analysis explains why something happened. In order to explain, expert opinions may be sought and a certain argument or line of thinking may be detailed. However, this is not an editorial, a commentary or pure opinion. The interviewees / experts are free to make judgments and comment. The journalist is not.
Any analysis or line of argument must be backed up by research and objective facts and figures.
How is an analysis constructed?
Firstly, an analysis must mention of the original news story upon which it is based. New facts and opinions will be organised as they are in a news feature (see News Feature). An analysis may introduce protagonists, interviewees or experts who have a particular connection to the subject matter and who are able to enlighten the reader with their informed opinions.
How long is an analysis?
A short analysis, appearing beside a news story for instance, may be around 200 words long. A longer analysis could be as long as a short news feature (between 500 and 1,000 words).
How is an analysis written?
In general, the language is neutral and concise. Occasionally the language can be more relaxed, as in feature writing. The reader should be able to base their opinion on an analysis.
- Is the research of facts and / or expert opinions organised in a way that the events appear to the reader in a new light?
- Is the research of facts and / or expert opinions organised in a logical and easily comprehensible manner?
- Is the reader able to understand all the information in the analysis; is all the relevant, background information in the analysis too?
When basic questions about journalism come up, this handbook, written and produced by Media in Cooperation and Transition (MICT), provides clear, brief and precise answers. Shortcuts to Journalism isn’t just for journalists – it’s also helpful for non-journalists. Download the English version here or the Arabic version here.Schmidt, E., Tirok, M. and Bösch, M. (2016): Shortcuts to Journalism: The Basics of Print, Online and Broadcast Reporting. Berlin, Germany: Media in Cooperation and Transition gGmbH PDF