Reporterese Translation Guide
Critics are always complaining that the press has a hidden agenda. They’re right. And here’s a guide that can help readers discern what journalists really mean when they write certain things.
By Jill Rosen
New details are emerging: Here are some things I didn't realize last time I wrote about this.
Jill Rosen is AJR's assistant managing editor
Rain couldn't dampen the spirits of [add event name here]: I can't believe they still made me cover this in the pouring rain.
He said curtly: This was a bad, bad interview.
He said simply: This guy had absolutely nothing to say.
Indeed: Yay! Someone just validated my point.
He is not alone: My editor wanted a trend story.
Controversial: This is the 12th story I've written about this.
Though the chairman says [fill in the blank], rumors have circulated saying..: The chairman is seriously full of crap.
Many people say...: The three I called.
Some say...: The two I called.
It is believed to be the first...: By me.
He couldn't be reached for comment: I don't have his number.
He declined to comment: He politely called me back to say no.
He couldn't be reached for comment despite repeated calls to his home and office: He did something to really piss me off.
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