Reporterese Translation Guide  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  Drop Cap
From AJR,   August/September 2004

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
Jill Rosen is AJR's assistant managing editor     

New details are emerging: Here are some things I didn't realize last time I wrote about this.

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.

Hard-charging: Asshole.

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.

Return to Home